This overview of the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Courage addresses the provisions of its legislative authorization, eligibility requirements, and selection procedures.
In order to honor law enforcement officer acts of bravery, the U.S. Congress passed the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008. Federal, State, local, or tribal law enforcement officers are eligible for this badge. Nominees are selected by the head of the officer's agency. Those eligible for the badge must have sustained or been at high risk for serious physical injury or death while engaged in the lawful duties of the individual officer. Two badges are awarded annually, one for officers who acted bravely and suffered injury or death and one for officers who acted bravely at the risk of serious injury or death. The agency head making the nomination must characterize the officer's action as bravery. The nomination period for the award opens on or about December 15th of each year and closes on the following February 15th. The act of bravery must have been performed during the specified annual period that begins on January 1 and ends December 31. Applications must be submitted online at www.bja.gov/CBOB. The law specifies the membership of two boards that decide which of the nominees will receive a badge. One of the boards selects recipients from among Federal law enforcement nominees, and the second board selects recipients from among nominees of State, local, and tribal agencies.