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Officers awarded Meritorious Service Medal, Life Saving Medal

Honors given at March 5 City Council meeting

Crete Police Officer Noah Zach received the department's Life Saving Medal for his actions to pull an individual to safety from the Blue River Bridge in January. He and his daughter are pictured with Chief Gary Young (left) and Mayor Dave Bauer.

Crete Police Chief Gary Young presented service medals to two officers at the City Council regular meeting on Tuesday evening (March 5) at City Hall.

Young read each award and presented the certificate with Mayor Dave Bauer. Officers received congratulations, appreciation, and applause from the Mayor, Council members, city officials, and fellow officers in attendance.

Officer Noah Zach joined the Crete Police Department in 2023. He graduated from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center in September. Officer Dawn Jonas joined the department in 2003 and has served as the School Resource Officer since January 2014. 

Zach received the department's Life Saving Medal. The award narrative reads:

    "On January 5th, 2024, Officer Noah Zach responded to several calls of a person, dressed in black, sitting on the rail of the Blue River Bridge on Highway 33. When he arrived, he found the person sitting on the railing facing the river. Officer Zach began a dialog with the individual. While attempting to communicate, Officer Zach noticed the person was sliding toward the edge of the railing, appearing to be preparing to jump from the railing to the rocks and river 30 feet below. While attempting communication, Officer Zach moved closer to the individual. Believing the person was at the edge of the rail and ready to jump, Officer Zach quickly moved to grab the individual and pull them to safety on the highway side of the bridge. Officer Zach’s actions undoubtedly saved the individual from serious bodily injury or death by preventing the person from jumping from the bridge.

    Officer Noah Zach’s actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of law enforcement and reflect great credit upon himself, the Crete Police Department, and the law enforcement profession."

Crete Police Officer Dawn Jonas received the department's Meritorious Service Medal for her annual efforts in leading "Operation Under the Tree" a holiday giving program, which this year grew to provide toys and necessities to 168 families and 612 children. She is pictured with Chief Gary Young (left) and Mayor Dave Bauer.
Jonas received the department’s Meritorious Service Medal. The award narrative reads:

“The Crete Police Department and the Crete Fraternal Order of Police have teamed to create and run Operation Under the Tree for many years. During that time, Officer Dawn Jonas has been the driving force behind the effort. Beginning with 43 families and 106 children in 2015, Officer Jonas has built the program to such that, in 2023, 168 families and 612 kids were provided toys and necessities such as coats and shoes. The impact on the people in and around our community is monumental and, as a result, the reservoir of good will the community has for the Crete Police Department is overflowing. These positive results would not have been possible without Officer Dawn Jonas’s leadership, personal relationships, and organizational skills. Organizing these toys into bags to be distributed to specific families and children is a significant task each year, which she made seem effortless from the outside looking in."

Crete Police Department, Mayor, City Council, City Officials.