This award will be presented to the law enforcement agency that has implemented a program improving officer safety in the areas of personal protection or tactical training, or has adopted measures that create a safer work environment. The program should definitively demonstrate the ability to increase an officer’s physical safety by reducing job-related injuries, enhancing personal safety, or by providing life-saving training. Likewise, the agency has both developed and actively promoted their officer safety programs and, in doing so, achieved employee buy-in and program acceptance. The agency has successfully achieved its goals to increase safety or reduce injuries or deaths as it continues to set new goals and further enhance officer safety.
The General Officer Safety category includes programs that have made advances in the area of personal protection including increased wearing of body armor or distribution of life-saving tools such as the Downed Officer Kits (DOKs). The General Safety category also includes focus areas such as better tactical training, improving intelligence provided to responding officers or the creation of a dedicated on-scene safety officer.
The Fairfax County (VA) Police Department is the winner in the General Officer Safety category as they recently submitted additional information on their athletic trainer program that serves as a part of their overall safety strategy, but is unique in its focus on preparedness for duty. This additional element, tied to the Safety Officer component reviewed last year, has again prompted them to be chosen as the winner in the General Officer Safety category.
The Dallas (TX) Police Department's Downed Officer Kit (DOK) program started in 2006 with the department’s specialized tactical units. Each kit costs roughly $50 and includes both life-saving first aid equipment as well as personal protective equipment.
2015 General Officer Safety Award Finalist
The Fairfax County (VA) Police Department has taken the unique step of creating a dedicated Safety Officer, who is responsible for monitoring safety conditions and developing measures to assure the on-scene safety of all officers. This dedicated Safety Officer oversees safety during specific incidents such as barricades, major crashes, and large-scale events.