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 Initiative, awarded its National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards on Sunday. The awards were presented during a ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Museum. These awards are presented as part of BJA's Destination Zero Program designed to highlight agency-level achievements in the areas of officer safety and wellness.
The primary objective of the program is to reduce causal factors that injure and kill law enforcement officers and help officers live safer, happier, and healthier lives.
Destination Zero began in 2014 with a goal to identify agencies conducting unique and innovative programs aimed at reducing risk factors and to share the design and outcomes of these programs with the entire law enforcement community. Agencies with successful programs are asked to submit details of their programs to be considered for an award. The information collected through this process is housed at DestinationZero.org and is readily available to anyone who wishes to review content or implement similar programs within their department or agency.
Awards were presented in the following 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.
The 2019 Officer Safety and Wellness Award winners were:
General Officer Safety: Pell City (AL) Police Department
Officer Traffic Safety: Livingston Parish (LA) Sheriff's Office
Officer Wellness: Prince William County (VA) Police Department
Comprehensive Safety: Greenfield (WI) Police Department
In addition to the four winning agencies, the following finalists were also acknowledged:
Officer Safety: Jefferson Davis Parish (LA) Sheriff's Office
Officer Traffic Safety: Linn County (IA) Sheriff's Office
Officer Wellness: San Bernardino (CA) Police Department, Delray Beach (FL) Police Department, Olathe (KS) Police Department
Comprehensive Safety: City of Orem (UT) Police Department
Following months of review and evaluation of the submitted programs, the award process selected 10 finalist agencies whose programs fell into one of the four officer safety and wellness award categories. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund convened a distinguished selection committee 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 (NLEOMF) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance are grateful to all participating agencies and extend congratulations to the four winning agencies and finalists for 2019, NLEOMF said in a statement.
The National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards are presented annually, and agencies are encouraged to submit details about their successful safety and wellness programs at www.DestinationZero.org.