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Vice President Biden Receives Distinguished Service Award from NLEOMF

Honor recognizes nearly four decades of leadership and support for law enforcement officers, survivors of the fallen and victims of crime

October 26, 2009

Read our Blog, and view photos and video of the awards ceremony. 

Washington, DC — In recognition of his steadfast support for the law enforcement profession over nearly four decades of public service, Vice President Joe Biden was presented Monday with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's Distinguished Service Award for 2009.

The Memorial Fund's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award is given annually to "an individual or organization that has made an exceptional and lasting contribution to the law enforcement profession." Vice President Biden received this year's award for his leadership on issues of critical importance to the law enforcement community, including putting more officers on the street, reducing violence against women, and protecting and honoring the nation's officers.

NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd presented the award to the Vice President during a ceremony at the United States Capitol Visitor Center. "Throughout his career, Vice President Biden has demonstrated his commitment, his compassion and his dedication not only to our law enforcement officers, but also to the survivors of the fallen, to the victims of crime and to all Americans who yearn to live in safety," Mr. Floyd said.

In selecting Vice President Biden for its Distinguished Service Award, the NLEOMF cited his role in the passage of a number of key federal laws that protect both officers and the community. These include the landmark 1994 crime bill that helped to put 100,000 more police officers on the streets of America and ushered in the era of community policing; the Violence Against Women Act, which enhanced the investigation and prosecution of rape and domestic violence cases and provided new resources for the victims of these crimes; the 1985 ban on so-called "cop killer bullets" - ammunition that can pierce the body armor worn by law enforcement officers; and the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act, establishing a Congressionally authorized honor for officers who display exceptional valor.

While in the Senate, Mr. Biden also supported creation of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, authorization for the National Law Enforcement Museum and enactment of a federal law requiring flags to be flown at half-staff each May 15, as a show of respect for officers killed in the line of duty. A champion for the survivors of officers who have died in the line of duty, he also supported establishment of the Public Safety Officers Benefits program and has been a strong supporter of Concerns of Police Survivors, especially its Delaware chapter.

Most recently, Vice President Biden was instrumental in ensuring $4 billion in economic stimulus funds were directed to law enforcement. The new federal money has allowed policing agencies to hire new officers and maintain successful community policing initiatives, and has funded drug courts, juvenile delinquency prevention programs and other crime control initiatives.

Vice President Biden is the 14th recipient of the NLEOMF's Distinguished Service Award. The previous awardees are:

  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (2008)
  • Cynthia Brown, publisher of "American Police Beat" (2007)
  • President Bill Clinton (2006)
  • Motorola (2005)
  • U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (2004)
  • Police Unity Tour (2003)
  • President George H.W. Bush (2002)
  • United States Mint Police (2001)
  • U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno (2000)
  • John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted" (1999)
  • U.S. Representative (ret.) Mario Biaggi (1998)
  • The DuPont Company (1997)
  • U.S. Senator (ret.) Claiborne Pell (1996)


Contact: Kevin Morison
202-737-7134 -