Papillion Police Department’s newest sergeant has done a little bit of everything for the department.
Jessica Moore was promoted to sergeant to replace Larry Fasnacht, a road patrol sergeant who retired in August. She was selected after a months-long civil service process that included written tests, computer-based personality tests and multiple rounds of interviews.
Moore said she was excited about the promotion because it was a goal of hers to be a road patrol sergeant since she joined PPD in 2002. She believes she can have more impact on officers in that role than she can as a field training officer, one of her current responsibilities.
“Those are short term impacts and I feel as a sergeant it’s more long term being able to help motivate and help grow and develop people,” she said.
Police Chief Scott Lyons said Moore’s broad background and experience throughout the department was a key factor in her selection.
Her experience in road patrol, as SWAT team negotiator and, most importantly, investigations gives her experience on how to handle crime scenes or other complicated situations like bank robberies, and her time as a crime prevention specialist and community outreach coordinator gave her opportunities to develop connections with other law enforcement agencies, businesses and other members of the community.
“I don’t have to be in a community outreach or crime prevention position to implement that style of policing on patrol,” Moore said.
Moore also worked in an administrative position where she handled things like policy reviews and accreditation, and she has run the PPD’s Project Lifesaver program and serves as a fitness instructor.
“She just has an amazing ability not only to balance all of those things but she has performed well in each one of those,” Lyons said.
Moore, who grew up in the Papillion area, will be responsible for four officers on a day shift. Her responsibilities will be to share criminal intelligence and conduct shift briefings, designate duties for her officers, coordinate crime scenes and handle staffing issues from vacation time to discipline.
Lyons said sergeants are the department’s first-line supervisors who have the closest contact to daily operations.
“They’re the ones that are supervising those officers that are most often the face of the police department, so they’re crucial,” he said.
Moore has experience as an acting sergeant and has attended the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center and gone through supervisor training.
“It’s not like we are seeing her for the first time in this role,” Lyons said. “We’ve seen her there before.”
Moore said she is ready to “hit the ground running” because she is familiar with her new responsibilities and has gained insight from the nine sergeants under whom she’s worked.
“Throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to take the good and the bad from all of them and develop my own leadership style,” she said. “Over the last couple years I’ve spent time picking the brains of the sergeants — current and past — on good leadership styles and how to motivate people.”
The department will need new leaders as older leadership retires, Lyons said, and the department will have to grow as Papillion continues to grow.
“I see how fast we’re growing and eventually our department is going to continue to grow as the city grows so I’m excited to be a part of all of that,” Moore said.
The physical and mental health of the officers around her is one of her passions, Moore said, which is why she serves as a fitness instructor and speaks with Lyons about ways to help officers who deal with the traumas and stress of policing.
“We do see a lot of things that the normal public will never see in their lives,” she said.
Moore said she looks forward to the impact she can have on the morale of her officers.
“We have an important job to do but I want to make sure that my group enjoys coming to work,” she said.