The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), with support from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and BJA's VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative, presented the National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards at the Memorial Fund's annual Awards Dinner. The event was held on Saturday, May 14, 2016, at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC.
"The program's primary objective is to reduce law enforcement injuries and deaths, and to help peace officers live safer, happier, and healthier lives. The culmination of this year's Destination Zero Program is the presentation of the National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards," said NLEOMF President and Chief Executive Officer Craig W. Floyd.
Destination Zero was created in late 2014 to identify agencies conducting unique and innovative programs that aim to reduce risk factors and to share the design and outcomes of these programs with the law enforcement community. Agencies with successful programs were asked to submit details of their initiatives to be considered for the National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards.
National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards are presented annually during National Police Week in the following four categories:
General Officer Safety:
Programs that directly affect officers' physical safety while performing their jobs.
Officer Traffic Safety:
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.
Fitness programs, mental health programs, and initiatives such as peer support groups and nutrition as they directly affect officer safety are included in this category.
Programs that showed the most comprehensive approach and were strategically implemented into safety and wellness efforts. Agencies considered had a strong overall program that was successfully marketed and innovative in its approach to gain employee participation.
Following months of review and evaluation, 11 finalist agencies were identified and segmented into one of the four officer safety and wellness award categories. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund convened a seven-member selection committee, representing nearly every type of law enforcement agency, then 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 pleased to announce the following 2016 National Officer Safety and Wellness Award winners:
- General Officer Safety: Fairfax County (VA) Police Department
- Officer Traffic Safety: Hillsborough (NC) Police Department
- Officer Wellness: San Diego (CA) Police Department
- Comprehensive Safety: New York City (NY) Police Department
In addition to the four winning agencies, the following finalists were also acknowledged:
- Officer Safety: Metropolitan Nashville (TN) Police Department
- Officer Traffic Safety: Ohio State Highway Patrol and Orange County (CA) Sheriff's Department
- Officer Wellness: Appleton (WI) Police Department (Outagamie County), California Highway Patrol, and the Sandy Springs (GA) Police Department
- Comprehensive Safety: Burlington (NC) Police Department
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 www.DestinationZero.org.
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 20,789 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 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.