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.
2016 General Officer Safety Award Winner
Fairfax County (VA) Police Department (1,400 sworn)
The Fairfax County (VA) Police Department is a winner for the second time 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.
2016 General Safety Award Finalist
Nashville (TN) Police Department (1,450 sworn)
In 2010, MNPD equipped all officers with a medical kit after an officer was shot multiple times and police improvised the tools to stop a sucking chest wound before EMS personnel arrived. Kits were issued and trained on annually. However, the kits were too large to be carried on an officer’s person. So in 2015 MNPD procured additional trauma kits that were small enough to fit in the trauma plate pack of an officer’s soft body armor.
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. In 2013, the program was expanded to include the entire department and more than 3,500 DOKs have been issued to every officer with public contact. Many agencies issue and train officers on the DOK, but this program is unique due to the comprehensive training curriculum and instruction on proper use of the DOK provided to each and every officer.
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. The Safety Officer promotes and develops general occupational safety policies and training, and continually assesses potential dangers and identifies gaps in areas where safety training does not exist. The Safety Officer then develops and implements the necessary training program to address the specific area of concern .