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Honoring Excellence in Public Safety

BJA directs programs that acknowledge exceptional public safety officers
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Every day, America’s dedicated public safety officers assume risks that are unimaginable to the public. A select few firefighters, EMTs and police officers go far beyond the call of duty—risking it all to keep communities and citizens safe. They are decisive in the face of danger, willing to put others first, and swift to act. They are brave beyond measure.

To recognize the extraordinary efforts of public safety officers, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) directs two distinct award programs. The first, the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor (MOV) honors public safety officers who exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life. It is the highest national award presented to public safety officers and is presented by the President or Vice President of the United States.

BJA also operates the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery (CBOB) program. This badge is awarded to federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who have shown exceptional bravery in the line of duty. The medals are awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney General and are presented by the recipients' Congressional representatives.

“These individuals exhibit bravery that is almost superhuman. They run toward danger—even when every natural extinct tells them to flee—to save lives and ensure community safety,” says BJA Acting Director Michael Costigan. “BJA is extremely proud to operate programs to honor the very best of our public safety officers.”

To be nominated for either the MOV or CBOB awards, public safety officers must go above and beyond the call of duty. The award recipients are not simply good officers; they are exceptional public servants who knowingly place themselves in danger to protect others.

The 2019-2020 MOV nomination period is now open. Nominations are due by July 31, 2020. The nomination period for CBOB opens on or about December 15 each year.

Date Published: July 8, 2020