The Missouri Department of Public Safety has announced it will present four new awards to public safety officers who provide exemplary service, along with a new award for civilians who come to the assistance of public safety officers and provide assistance during emergency situations.
Since 2008, Missouri's governor has awarded the Medal of Valor to public safety officers who exhibit exceptional courage, decisiveness and swift action without regard for their own safety in an attempt to save a life. The Medal of Valor remains the state's highest award recognizing public safety officers.
The new Department of Public Safety awards are:
The Public Safety Medal of Merit, which honors an individual's brave actions above and beyond the call of normal duty that play a critical role in successfully resolving a situation that endangers public safety.
The Governor's Medal, which honors an organized team of public safety officers' brave actions above and beyond the call of normal duty during a critical situation in which their teamwork was essential to the successful resolution of the situation.
The Director's Leadership Medal, which honors an individual at the command or staff level whose community activities have promoted greater safety, security, and cooperation for community members through programs, relationship-building, or collaboration.
The Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award, which honors a civilian who provided valuable or courageous assistance to public safety officers in an emergency situation, without regard for their own personal welfare.
The Hall of Fame Award, which honors a senior or retired public safety professional whose distinguished career serves as a model of exceptional courage, service, fairness and compassion, and whose devotion of talents, time and resources has improved the safety and security of Missouri's citizens.
Nominations for the new awards along with the Medal of Valor are now open.
For the Medal of Valor, Public Safety Medal of Merit, Governor's Medal and Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award, nominations are limited to acts performed from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2016. Nominations must be postmarked by May 26.
Nominations for any of the public safety awards must come from a public safety agency — or in the case of the Hall of Fame Award, from an agency, statewide association or organization. In the case of the Director's Leadership Medal, any nomination of a public safety agency's chief executive must be from an elected or appointed leader of the local unit of government. For additional information about the awards and for nomination forms, go to dps.mo.gov/medal/.
For award purposes, public safety officers must be individuals who serve a public agency, with or without compensation, as a firefighter, law enforcement officer or emergency or emergency management personnel, including EMTs and paramedics. State and local corrections and court officers are also eligible.