On Thursday, May 31, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance will open the nomination period for the 2017-2018 Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor.
This is the highest national award honoring emergency service officers, firefighters and law enforcement officers across the country, including federal, state, local and tribal officers.
This award honors public safety officers who displayed exceptional acts of courage and decisiveness to protect human life, above and beyond the call of duty.
Recipients are selected based on nominations from the head of their employing agencies.
The nomination period will remain open until 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.
(President Trump Hosts the Public Safety Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony. Courtesy of The White House and YouTube. Posted on Feb 20, 2018)
President and Attorney General honor officers with Medal of Valor
On February 20, 2018, President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions awarded the Public Safety Medal of Valor to public safety officers who exhibited exceptional courage in saving and protecting others and whose heroic actions were above and beyond the call of duty.
Take a moment to learn about each officer below.
- Corporals Rafael Ixco and Chad Johnson, Deputies Bruce Southworth and Shaun Wallen (San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department), and Officers Nicholas Koahou and Brian Olvera (San Bernardino Police Department) are being honored for their heroic efforts to end the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.
- Sergeant William Buchanan (Avery County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina) and Emergency Medical Technician Sean Ochsenbein (Putnam County Rescue Squad, Tennessee) are being honored for rescuing a trapped driver from a burning car.
- Firefighter/Harbor Patrol Officer David Poirier Jr. (Redondo Beach Fire Department, California) is being honored for single-handedly rescuing three injured people from dangerous surf.
- Chief Douglas Schroeder (Hesston Police Department, Kansas) is being honored for ending a deadly workplace assault by a gunman.
- Engineer Stephen Gunn (Peoria Fire-Medical Department, Arizona) is being honored for rescuing a man from a burning house without regard for his own safety.
- Officer Andrew Hopfensperger Jr. (Antigo Police Department, Wisconsin) is being honored for saving many lives during a gunman’s assault on students at a prom.
Medal of Valor Overview
Every day, public safety officers risk their lives to protect America’s citizens and communities.
To honor that commitment, Congress passed The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001, which created the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer.
The medal is awarded annually by the President or Vice President to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.
A “public safety officer” is a person (living or deceased) who is serving or has served in a public agency, with or without compensation, as a firefighter; law enforcement officer, including a corrections, court, or civil defense officer; or emergency services officer, as determined by the U.S. Attorney General.
An act of valor is defined as:
- Above and beyond the call of duty; and
- exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind.
- unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life.
Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor – Nomination Tips & Tools
(Created in 2001 by Congress, the Medal of Valor recognizes extraordinary acts of heroism and bravery on the part of our nation’s public safety officers. Courtesy of the DOJ Office of Justice Programs and YouTube. Posted on May 30, 2017)
Learn more about this award on the Medal of Valor website and start preparing your nominations today.
Be in it to Win it: The 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program
AST focuses on Homeland Security and Public Safety Breaking News, the Newest Initiatives and Hottest Technologies in Physical & IT Security, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges.
The 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, Border Security, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies – to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’
Over 100 distinguished guests from National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Executives from companies allied to Government, gathered from across North America and the Middle East to be honored from disciplines across the Security Industry in their respective fields which included representatives from:
- The Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- The Department of Justice
- The Security Exchange Commission
- State and Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies
- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Leaders in Private Security