CHAPTER 2

Honoring America's Public Safety Officers

Throughout the country, public safety officers watch over neighborhoods and work to make communities safer. BJA respects these officers’ devotion and their willingness to place themselves in danger to protect the nation’s citizens. BJA is honored to administer the following programs, which recognize the nation’s public safety heroes and their selfless dedication to their communities.

Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program

The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program provides vital death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders, as well as disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty. PSOB is a unique partnership of DOJ; local, state, tribal, and federal public safety organizations; and national organizations.

As of September 30, 2012, BJA’s PSOB Office received 258 new death claims and 89 new disability claims. In FY 2012, the PSOB Office determined a total of 269 death cases (from various fiscal years); of these 269 cases, 195 were approved and benefits paid to the survivors. The PSOB Office determined 63 disability cases in FY 2012, with 29 of the cases approved for payment. Also in FY 2012, 262 education claims were approved for funding to spouses and children to enable family members to pursue their dreams of higher education.

Continuing in FY 2012, the PSOB Office coordinated with the Concerns of Police Survivors and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to conduct proactive outreach to public safety agencies nationwide to increase awareness about the PSOB death, disability, and education programs; provide effective assistance when filing PSOB claims; and offer meaningful peer support and counseling services to survivors of America’s fallen officers. Visit the PSOB web site for more information: www.psob.gov/.

Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor

Every day, public safety officers risk their lives to protect America’s citizens and communities. To honor that commitment, Congress passed the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor (MOV) Act of 2001, which created the Public Safety Officer MOV, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. BJA oversees the National MOV Office, which manages the MOV Review Board and the award process that culminates in a presentation ceremony presided over by the President or the Vice President and the Attorney General and is attended by local and national media, national public safety organizations, and other stakeholders.

The major tasks accomplished in FY 2012 include: holding two MOV Review Board meetings; continued outreach to the public safety community to inform them about the program and encourage their participation; opening the 2011-12 MOV application period; receiving 176 applications from 32 states and 2 foreign territories, leading to 6 recommendations for the MOV award being submitted to the Attorney General for final approval; and fostering continued collaboration between the Attorney General’s Office and the White House to schedule a joint presentation ceremony for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 MOV recipient classes. Information about the recipients is available at www.medalofvalor.gov.

Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Program

In 2008, Congress passed the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery (CBOB) Act, creating the Federal Law Enforcement CBOB and the State and Local Law Enforcement CBOB to honor exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement officers. The badges are awarded annually by the Attorney General and are presented by the recipients’ congressional representatives. BJA was tasked in 2009 with establishing the CBOB Office and enacting the program called upon by the act.

The major tasks accomplished in FY 2012 include: conducting stakeholder outreach for the program; opening the 2011 CBOB application period; receiving a total of 240 applications from 32 states and 1 foreign territory; holding 2 Review Board meetings that led to 38 recommendations being submitted to the Attorney General for his approval; and collaborating with DOJ acquisition management staff to procure a contractor to produce the CBOB decoration sets. Information about the CBOB recipients is available at https://badgeofbravery.ncjrs.gov/.

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