National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards to be Presented at Chairman's Dinner Event During National Police Week
Washington, DC—Late last year, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and BJA’s VALOR officer safety initiative, launched the Destination Zero Project to highlight agency-level achievements in the area of officer safety and wellness. The primary objective of the program is to drive down causal factors that kill and injure law enforcement officers, and to help officers live safer, happier, healthier lives. The result of this project will culminate with presentation of the inaugural National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s annual Chairman’s Dinner on Tuesday May 12, 2015.
The Destination Zero Project began in late 2014, with members of the Memorial Fund’s Officer Safety and Wellness Department researching numerous law enforcement safety and wellness programs across the country. The goal was to identify agencies conducting unique and innovative programs that aim to reduce risk factors and to share the design and outcomes of these programs of excellence with the entire law enforcement community. Agencies with successful programs were asked to submit details of their initiatives and be considered for the National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards, which would be presented during National Police Week in Washington, D.C. There was also a national open call for applications though an online application process.
Awards will be presented in the following four categories:
|General Officer Safety:
||This category features programs that directly affect officers’ physical safety while performing their jobs.|
|Officer Traffic Safety:||These initiatives are designed to reduce automobile crashes and limit the risk factors of operating a motor vehicle or managing traffic. Programs that increased seatbelt use, limited distractions, or reduced driving speeds are also included in this category.|
|Officer Wellness:||Fitness programs, mental health programs, and initiatives such as peer support groups and nutrition are included in this category.|
|Most Comprehensive Program that was Strategically Implemented:||This includes programs that showed the most comprehensive approach and were strategically implemented into safety and wellness efforts. Agencies considered for this award had a strong overall program that was successfully marketed and innovative in its approach to gain employee participation.|
Following three months of review and evaluation of the submitted programs, the award process selected ten finalist agencies whose respective program fell into one of the four officer safety and wellness award categories. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund convened a distinguished panel of judges to evaluate the ten finalist programs. The six-member selection committee, representing nearly every type of law enforcement agency, then carefully considered each program and selected the award recipients for each of the four categories.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the Bureau of Justice Assistance are proud to announce the inaugural 2015 Officer Safety and Wellness Award winners:
- General Officer Safety: Dallas (TX) Police Department
- Officer Traffic Safety: Yolo County (CA) Sheriff’s Office
- Officer Wellness: Indianapolis (IN) Metropolitan Police Department
- Comprehensive and Strategically-Implemented: Orange County (FL) Sheriff’s Office
In addition to the four winning agencies, the following finalists were also acknowledged:
- Officer Safety: Fairfax County (VA) Police Department
- Officer Traffic Safety: Los Angeles (CA) Police Department and Prince George’s County (MD) Police Department
- Officer Wellness: Oregon City (OR) Police Department and Tulsa (OK) Police Department
- Comprehensive and Strategically-Implemented: Harford County (MD) Sheriff’s Office
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the Bureau of Justice Assistance are grateful to all participating agencies and extend congratulations to the four winning agencies and finalist for 2015. The National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards will be presented annually, and agencies are encouraged to submit details about their successful safety and wellness programs to Nick Breul, Director of the Memorial Fund’s Officer Safety & Wellness Initiative, at www.DestinationZero.org.
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About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and make it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,538 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.
About the Bureau of Justice Assistance
The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. BJA's mission is to provide leadership and services in criminal justice policy development and grant funding and administration to support local, state, and tribal justice stakeholders to achieve safer communities. BJA supports programs and initiatives in the areas of law enforcement, justice information sharing, countering terrorism, managing offenders, combating violent crime , adjudication, advancing tribal justice, crime prevention, protecting vulnerable populations, and capacity building.