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Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery

Definitions as codified in the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008:

  1. FEDERAL AGENCY HEAD—the head of any executive, legislative, or judicial branch entity that employs federal law enforcement officers.

  2. STATE OR LOCAL AGENCY HEAD—the head of any executive, legislative, or judicial branch entity of a state or local government that employs state or local law enforcement officers.

  3. FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER—a federal employee—
    • who has statutory authority to make arrests or apprehensions;
    • who is authorized by the agency of the employee to carry firearms; and
    • whose duties are primarily—
      • engagement in or supervision of the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law; or
      • the protection of federal, state, local, or foreign government officials against threats to personal safety.

        The term "federal law enforcement officer" includes a law enforcement officer employed by the Amtrak Police Department or Federal Reserve System.
  4. STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER—an employee of a state or local government—
    • who has statutory authority to make arrests or apprehensions;
    • who is authorized by the agency of the employee to carry firearms; and
    • whose duties are primarily—
      • engagement in or supervision of the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law; or
      • the protection of federal, state, local, or foreign government officials against threats to personal safety.
Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. When is the submission deadline for nominations?
    The agency head must submit each nomination no later than February 15 at 11:59 pm (EST) of the year following the date on which the nominee performed the act of bravery.

  2. When is the eligibility time period for acts of bravery submitted under this program?
    The act of bravery must have occurred during the calendar year immediately preceding the submission deadline for that year's nominations. For example, if the submission deadline is February 15, 2017, the act of bravery must have occurred between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

  3. Can nominations be submitted for incidents outside the current eligibility time period?
    No. Nominations cannot be submitted once that year’s nomination submission period has closed.

  4. When is the nomination submission period?
    The opening date for nominations is on or around December 15 of each year. When the 15th occurs on a weekend, the opening date for nominations may occur one or two days earlier. All nominations for that calendar year must be submitted no later than February 15 at 11:59 pm (EST) of the following year.

  5. Can an agency head nominate more than one person or a group for the Congressional Badge of Bravery?
    Yes, but a separate nomination form must be completed for each officer that is to be nominated, and the form(s) must be submitted via the online application system. In the case of groups of officers who are to be nominated for the same incident, the narrative summaries for each nomination form should identify each officer in the group by name and agency.

  6. How should the nominations of officers from multiple agencies who are involved in a single event be handled?
    The agency head for each nominated officer must approve the submission of the nomination form for that officer(s). The written narratives should identify each officer by name and agency. In addition, each nomination form should indicate “Yes” under the group nomination block.

  7. Who may nominate officers for incidents in connection with their service on a federal, state, and/or local taskforce?
    Regardless of service on a taskforce, the responsibility for approving and submitting nominations remains with the law enforcement agency that permanently employs the officer. The agency heading up the taskforce may choose to provide the nominating agency with a letter of support and/or other appropriate documents to be included with the nomination(s).

  8. How detailed should the incident summary be?
    The incident summary should at a minimum identify each officer by name who is being nominated, and should clearly reflect the individual and collective actions of the officers who are being considered for this award. The incident summary can contain up to 7500 characters; and additional supporting material may be included with each nomination.

  9. Can a single officer be nominated for more than one incident during a given nomination period?
    Yes, but a separate nomination must be submitted for each incident in which the officer is being nominated.

  10. Must every section of the nomination form be completed?
    The online application form indicates what information is required.

  11. Within the nomination form under the Nominator Information Section, whose information should be reflected?
    This section should reflect information on the head of the law enforcement agency that employs the nominee(s). If the nomination information reflects an agency official other than the agency head, written confirmation must be provided to confirm that the agency head approves each officer’s nomination .

  12. Will the Boards accept posthumous nominations?
    Yes, the Boards will accept posthumous nominations and may award a badge posthumously. Recommending officials should make clear that the nomination is for a posthumous award and indicate within the narrative summary as to whether or not the officer's death occurred in connection with his or her act of bravery.

  13. What award category does a county, city, municipal, or tribal law enforcement agency apply under?
    All non-federal law enforcement agencies, including county, city, municipal, or tribal law enforcement agencies, must apply under the State and Local category for the Congressional Badge of Bravery.

  14. How can I keep informed about the nomination process and the award ceremony?
    Questions concerning the nomination process should be directed to the Congressional Badge of Bravery Office at AskCBOB@usdoj.gov. Once a final decision is made, the Congressional members and agency heads for the recipient officers will be notified. Follow-up contact may be initiated by the relevant Congressional office or the Congressional Badge of Bravery Office.

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