Deadline looming for nominations for the federal 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 Act of 2001, which created the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer.

The program is currently accepting nominations for events that took place between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021. Submit your nomination by 11:59 p.m. ET, on July 31, 2021.

Captain Kevin Fitzhenry is a and Bayonne firefighter who was awarded the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor in 2002-2003.

The recipients include only two New Jersey firefighters, who were recognized for separate acts of heroism, Cherry Hill Fire Chief Robert Giorgio was a 2001–2002 Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor recipient and Bayonne Firefighter Kevin Fitzhenry was awarded the medal in 2002-2003.

The medal is awarded annually by the President or Vice President to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.

A “public safety officer” is a person (living or deceased) who is serving or has served in a public agency, with or without compensation, as a firefighter; law enforcement officer, including a corrections, court, or civil defense officer; or emergency services officer, as determined by the U.S. Attorney General.

An act of valor is considered to be above and beyond the call of duty; and exhibiting exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind along with unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life.

To receive the Medal of Valor, public safety officers must be nominated by the chief executive officer of their employing agencies, recommended by the bipartisan Medal of Valor Review Board, and cited by the Attorney General. The background of nominees will be reviewed as part of the selection process.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the Medal of Valor Program but nominations must be submitted through the online Medal of Valor Nomination System.

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