Every police department has a list of awards and medals to give out to the men and women in blue for their service to the community. For example, most police departments within a big metro area, like New York City, award medals to the officers for going above and beyond what is expected of them. Ceremonies are conducted in a public forum and usually include the mayor and other council members to present the award. Some of these departments do not have medals to give out, but instead present their officers with a certificate.
Medal of Honor
This medal is given to officers who have performed acts of extraordinary bravery in the line of duty. In addition, if the officer places himself in personal or imminent danger and performs specific acts of gallantry or valor above and beyond the call of duty, then he would qualify for this medal.
Medal for Valor
Much like the Medal of Honor, the Medal for Valor is awarded to an officer who performs any act of outstanding personal bravery while placing her life in danger with a disregard for personal safety. This medal comes second to the Medal of Honor, depending on the situation the officer was in. For example, if the officer saved many people from a burning building, she would be awarded the Medal for Valor. If the officer was in a shoot out and drew fire away from innocent people so they could escape to safety, she would be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Police Combat Cross
Officers who have performed an act of extraordinary heroism while engaged in a form of personal combat with an armed adversary are awarded this medal.
Commendation for Community Service
This award is for an officer that has demonstrated a devotion to community service and implements an idea that improves certain conditions within a community.
Meritorious Police Duty
An officer is awarded this medal when he demonstrates faithfulness or perseverance with any high creditable acts of service over a period of time. For example, an officer assisting in a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program for a year or more would be considered for this award.
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