Office of Justice Programs
Medal of ValorBJAMedal of Valor

Medal of Valor Review Board

On January 14, 2002, the Charter for the Medal of Valor Review Board was signed by the Attorney General. As required by the legislation, the eleven-member board was appointed by the President, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. Senate, and the Speaker and the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The board, which comprises representatives of the public safety community and the general public, reviews the nominations and recommends individuals for recognition.

Medal of Valor Board Members

Board Members Professional Profiles

Deputy Chief Abbey Johnston
Medal of Valor Review Board Vice-Chair
Bedford County Fire and Rescue, VA

Abbey Johnston is the Deputy Chief of Operations for Bedford County Fire & Rescue, located in central Virginia. Abbey spent fifteen years serving the Lynchburg Fire Department in several capacities including as a Captain/Paramedic, President of Lynchburg Firefighter’s Association-Local 1146, Peer Support Coordinator, MDA Fill the Boot Coordinator, and Tactical Medic. Abbey earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Masters in Executive Leadership degrees from Liberty University. She is a third year student in the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy.

Jeri L. Williams
Police Chief
Phoenix Police Department
Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri L. Williams is a 28-year law enforcement veteran. She currently leads the largest police agency in the State of Arizona, which is responsible for providing law enforcement services to the sixth largest city in the United States. She oversees a staff of nearly 4,000 employees and manages an annual operating budget in excess of $600 million. Chief Williams is a native Phoenician, who began her law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department. During her 22-year tenure, she worked in nearly all divisions of the department and rose quickly through the ranks. She retired as an Assistant Chief in 2011, after being selected to serve as the Police Chief for the city of Oxnard, California. During her five-year tenure in California, Chief Williams successfully advanced police-community relations through her strong leadership skills and her commitment to community policing principles. Chief Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in Education from Northern Arizona University. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) and the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AACOP).

Mr. Joseph Fox
Retired Chief – New York, NY

For more than 36 years, Joseph Fox served with the New York City Police Department, retiring in 2018 after serving six years as the head of the NYPD's Transit Bureau. Following in his father's footsteps, Joe joined the New York City Police Department in July of 1981, beginning his law enforcement career as a patrol officer in Brooklyn's 70th Precinct. While ascending the ranks to three-star Chief, he has commanded Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, Patrol Borough Queens South, the Office of the Chief of Internal Affairs, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Training, as well as Brooklyn's 71st Precinct. As head of the NYPD's Transit Bureau, Joe led a team of more than 2,600 men and woman who secure the nation's busiest metropolitan rail system.

Now retired from public service, Joe is currently employed as the Chief of Staff with SEAL Security, a full service Global Security firm based in New York and London. Joe applies his years of leadership skills well to his leadership/executive/life coaching practice. Joe also continues to harnesses his decades of law enforcement experience and his unique leadership style to teach and inspire others. A renowned communicator, Joe also expertly translates the power of personal loss throughout his life into purposeful messages that inspire others. Through speaking engagements, executive leadership coaching, and personal development, he conveys a life’s worth of lessons to others in law enforcement and in the private sector.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Security Management from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of iPEC Coaching. He is also a graduate of the Police Management Institute at Columbia University.

Mr. Trevor S. Whipple
Medal of Valor Review Board Chairman/Chief Burlington PD, retired
consultant at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns

Mr. Whipple retired from the South Burlington Police Department, and currently serves as a law enforcement consultant at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. He has spent his entire working life devoted to public service, and in particular as an emergency responder. Early in his career, he was certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and worked on a part-time basis in New Hampshire for almost five years. He also served with the East Barre Fire Department; held the positions of dispatcher, patrol officer, juvenile officer, and investigator; and served as the Chief of Police in two Vermont police agencies. He most recently served as Chief of Police for South Burlington-the second largest municipal police department in Vermont. Chief Whipple attended Northeastern University, obtained an Associate's degree from Castleton State College, a Bachelor's degree from Johnson State College, and received his Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Vermont. He also teaches criminal justice courses at the Community College of Vermont.

Brandon Clabes
Police Chief
Midwest City Police Department, OK 

Chief Brandon Clabes began his career with the Midwest City, Oklahoma police department as a police officer in 1979 and worked his way through the ranks becoming police chief in August of 1999. Midwest City is home to Tinker Air Force Base and Clabes is responsible for 127 employees, an annual budget of over 13 million dollars and utilizes best practices to deliver a community based policing philosophy. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is a longtime board member for the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police. Clabes also has served as a commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and is currently a Board of Regent for Rose State College. All these appointments have been made by Governor Mary Fallin. He has been married to his wife Sandy for 26 years and they have three children.

Mr. Brian Murphy

Mr. Brian Murphy (Retired Lieutenant, Oak Creek Police Department, WI), began his career in the United States Marine Corp in 1980. He served on embassy duty in Kabul, Afghanistan and Bangkok, Thailand. Upon returning to U.S. soil, he worked 5 years at the United Nations Security Service before moving to Wisconsin. He worked as a jailer for 1 year at the Jefferson County Sheriff Department and was subsequently hired at Oak Creek Police Department in 1991. Lt. Murphy steadily received promotions on the force and performed additional capacities as an Emergency Response Unit operator, explosive breacher and team leader. He was involved in the Evidence Unit for over 10 years, eventually serving as the Officer in Charge of the unit. Lt. Murphy participated in law enforcement education, holding the position of an adjunct instructor at Louisiana State University, Texas A&M and New Mexico Tech. He has a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Marian University. On August 5th, 2012, Lt. Murphy was the first officer on the scene of the Sikh Temple shooting that left 6 dead and 3 injured. He sustained 15 gun shots during the gunfight. He has received numerous awards, including the Congressional Badge of Bravery and the Public Safety Medal of Valor. Today he administers the Saves Program for Armor Express, teaches in the federal Valor Program, and conducts presentations across the country on officer survival and resiliency.

Brian B. Fengel, Chief
Bartonville Police Department, IL

Chief Fengel has been in the law enforcement field for 28 years. He has been with the Bartonville Police Department for 23 years and has been the Chief of Police since 1998. Chief Fengel is a 2001 graduate of the FBI National Academy and a graduate of the Northwestern Illinois University Executive Management Program. He currently teaches Criminal Investigation at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Illinois. In June 2014 he was elected 4th Vice President for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Board of Directors. He is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief Fengel worked at the Utah Olympics Public Safety Command in February 2002 as a police officer assigned with the Secret Service at the Olympic Village. He currently serves on various Boards including a position on the Illinois State Auto Theft Prevention Council, Active Member of the Central Illinois Adult Fatality Review Team, Active Member of the Illinois Police Chief's Association since 1998, and past member of the Executive Board, Past President of the Peoria County Chief's Association. He has served two terms on the Multi County Narcotics Enforcement Group Task Force. He is Past President and current Board member of the Central Illinois Mobile Training Unit #7 and Board Member of The Child Advocacy Center. Chief Fengel has also served as a member of the Illinois State Law Enforcement Medal of Honors Committee. Chief Fengel was awarded the State of Illinois Elderly Service Officer of the Year, 2012 sponsored and presented by the Illinois Attorney General's Office, in October 2012.