U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery

To honor acts of bravery performed by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, Congress passed the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008.

Nominations Now Being Accepted

The nomination period for the 2021 Congressional Badge of Bravery is now open. Each year, the Bureau of Justice Assistance recognizes law enforcement officers for their exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty. Recipients are considered at the federal, state, and local level.

Law enforcement agencies intending to have their personnel considered for this award, must submit nominations for the 2021 Congressional Badge of Bravery by February 15, 2022. Acts of bravery must have occurred during the eligibility period, which is January 1 through December 31, 2021.

Police lights flashing on a car
© zef art/Shutterstock.com (see reuse policy).
Officer standing in front of his car
© Fractal Pictures/Shutterstock.com (see reuse policy).
Description

Every day, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers engage in exceptional acts of bravery while in the line of duty. Often, such acts place the officers involved at personal risk of injury or result in their sustaining a physical injury. To honor these acts of bravery, Congress passed the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-298), creating the Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery and the State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery. The act establishes an award to honor exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. The medals are awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney General and are presented by the recipients' Congressional representatives.

To meet the definition of an act of bravery, nominees for the Congressional Badge of Bravery must have either:

  1. Sustained a physical injury while engaged in the lawful duties of the individual, and performing an act characterized as bravery by the agency head who makes the nomination, and being at personal risk; or
     
  2. Although not injured, performed an act characterized as bravery by the agency head who makes the nomination that placed the individual at risk of serious physical injury or death.

Nominating a Law Enforcement Officer to Receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery

The submitting of nominations is by/at the direction of law enforcement agency heads to the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Nominations are considered by either the Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Board or the State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Board, which submit their recommendations to the U.S. Attorney General.

The opening date for nominations is on or about December 15 of each year. When the nomination period is open, all nominations must be submitted through the online Congressional Badge of Bravery Nomination System.

PLEASE NOTE: The background of Congressional Badge of Bravery nominees may be reviewed as part of the selection process. Agency heads must submit nominations through the online Congressional Badge of Bravery Nomination System.

More Information