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National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards to be Presented at Annual Awards Dinner Event During National Police Week

May 14, 2017

Washington, DC—For the third 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, collaborated on the Destination Zero Program to highlight agency-level achievements in the areas of officer safety and wellness. The primary goal of the program is to create a platform that provides all U.S. law enforcement agencies with the ability to research successful and/or promising officer safety and wellness programs and identify the resources necessary to begin their own risk management initiatives.

The result of this program will culminate with presentation of the National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s annual Awards Dinner on Sunday, May 14, 2017. 

The Destination Zero Program began in late 2014, with a goal to identify agencies conducting unique and innovative programs aimed to reduce risk factors and to share the design and outcomes of these programs 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 will 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.
Comprehensive Safety: Includes programs that demonstrated 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 months of review and evaluation of the submitted programs, the award process selected 11 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 finalist programs. A seven-member selection committee, representing nearly every type of law enforcement agency, carefully considered each finalist 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 following 2017 Officer Safety and Wellness Award winners:

  • General Officer Safety: Suffolk County (NY) Police Department
  • Officer Traffic Safety: Snohomish County (WA) Sheriff’s Office
  • Officer Wellness: Stockton (CA) Police Department
  • Comprehensive Safety: Burlington (NC) Police Department

In addition to the four winning agencies, the following finalists were also acknowledged:

  • Officer Safety: Henderson (NV) Police Department
  • Officer Traffic Safety: Las Vegas (NV) Metropolitan Police Department
  • Officer Wellness: Rockville (MD) Police Department, Sidney (OH) Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Comprehensive Safety: City of Bend (OR) Police Department and the University of Vermont Police Department

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 finalists for 2017. The National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards are 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

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About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., which honors the names of 21,183 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund recently began construction of 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

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.

For more information about BJA, visit For more information about VALOR, visit

Steve Groeninger
(202) 737-7135