Award Categories

Award Categories and Criteria   


There are three categories for the National Officer Safety and Officer Wellness Awards: General Officer Safety, Officer Traffic Safety, and Officer Wellness. Within each category, an award is given to the agency that has developed or implemented the most effective and measurable program. The Awards Committee considers programs in these three categories and evaluates their overall integration, effectiveness, and durability. A fourth award is presented to the agency that has the most comprehensive initiative and best overall approach to implementing its safety and wellness program. The goal is to identify successful programs that benefit every type and category of agency.

General Officer Safety

This award will be presented to the law enforcement agency that has implemented a program improving officer safety in the areas of personal protection or tactical training or has adopted measures that create a safer work environment. The program should definitively demonstrate the ability to increase an officer’s physical safety by reducing job-related injuries, enhancing personal safety, or providing life-saving training. Likewise, the agency has both developed and actively promoted its officer safety programs and, in doing so, has achieved employee buy-in and program acceptance. The agency has successfully achieved its goals to increase safety or reduce injuries or deaths as it continues to set new goals and further enhance officer safety.

The General Officer Safety category includes programs that have made advances in the area of personal protection, including increased wearing of body armor or distribution of life-saving tools, such as the Downed Officer Kits (DOKs). The General Officer Safety category also includes focus areas such as better tactical training, improving intelligence that is provided to responding officers, or the creation of a dedicated on-scene safety officer.

Officer Traffic Safety

This award will be presented to the law enforcement agency that has taken proactive measures to demonstrate definitively, a program’s success in improving officer traffic-related safety practices. The agency has developed and successfully promoted their officer traffic safety programs and, in doing so, has achieved employee buy-in and program acceptance. The program has successfully increased officer safety related to traffic and made strides towards reducing traffic-related injuries or deaths, while building a culture focused on traffic safety measures.

The Officer Traffic Safety category features programs that have increased officer seatbelt usage, increased the use of visibility gear, or provided enhanced driver’s training. The Officer Traffic Safety category also includes innovations to restrict Mobile Digital Computer (MDC) usages at higher speeds, modifications to interior patrol vehicle design or usage, or implementation of new safety technologies.

Officer Wellness

Officer Wellness is the most encompassing category of the four, focusing on topics such as physical fitness, mental health, stress-induced trauma. suicide prevention programs, nutrition, and stress reduction. The category includes both mandatory physical fitness programs and incentive-based initiatives. Wellness is a multi-faceted category that addresses an officer’s overall well-being. This award will be presented to the law enforcement agency that has taken innovative measures and definitively demonstrated its ability to increase officer wellness.

The agency has developed a program that has improved its officers’ well-being by reducing stress, increasing fitness, or actively promoting a healthier diet and lifestyle. The agency has institutionalized wellness practices that support physical and mental health amongst its employees. The program has become a component of employee development and is an integral part of managing the department’s Human Resources.

Comprehensive Safety

This award recognizes a law enforcement agency that has successfully developed, implemented and promoted the most comprehensive and strategically implemented officer safety or wellness program.

The program employs an overarching marketing strategy that embraces voluntary participation and an enhanced departmental awareness, and has achieved a high degree of employee buy-in through its creative and innovative marketing strategies. The program is widely accepted by the employees, has high participation rates, and is considered a success by the agency. The manner in which this agency successfully introduced the program and implemented strategies to generate participation can be replicated by other agencies.



—Employee buy-in
—Top-down leadership

Participation Rate/Success
—Levels of agency participation
—Agency defined success

—History of Program
—Enhancements, modifications

—Marketing to employees
—Design and use of original materials