The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Program. The Medal of Valor is the highest honor for public safety officers, and it was created when Congress passed The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001. The President or Vice President award the medals annually to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.
Many agencies are looking for alternative ways to respond to calls for low-level incidences. To help address this, the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program held the webinar “Alternative Response to Calls for Service—Denver STAR Program” in March 2021. During this webinar, Dr.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The U.S. Department of Justice has many programs and resources dedicated to officer safety and wellness, including addressing mental health and preventing suicide. These are a few of them:
May is National Drug Court Month, honoring the work that drug court professionals do around the country to help those impacted by substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. Below are some drug court resources developed by some of BJA’s training and technical assistance grantees.
To help law enforcement officers, criminal justice practitioners, and their families avoid doxing, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, created several Officer Cybersafety microlearning modules. These modules take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and focus on minimizing the risk of compromise through apps, browsers, and devices. Individuals can complete step-by-step instructions with their apps, browsers, and devices during the training to increase security.
The National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) has now posted resources related to events hosted during Reentry Week (April 26–30 2021). These events helped show how reentry plays a vital role in fostering successful communities and neighborhoods. Throughout the week, NRRC shared various resources, including webinars, publications, and podcasts that blended reentry expertise with lived experience. These resources are now available on NRRC’s website and address the following topics:
The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) recently launched The NCJA Podcast, which is supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The podcast series “will explore promising practices, provide guidance on strategic planning, and discuss the fundamentals of the Byrne Justice Assistance (Byrne JAG) program.” New episodes will be regularly released and will focus on the important Byrne JAG-funded work happening in various states across the nation to address crime.
The National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) recently released their Virtual Academy, an interactive learning platform that was developed in collaboration with law enforcement experts and practitioners. It features self-paced courses and is meant to serve PSP sites and other law enforcement agencies and professionals.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is accepting nominations for the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing, which “recognizes individual state, local, or tribal sworn rank-and-file police officers, deputies, and troopers for exceptional efforts in effective community policing.” The Attorney General will present the awards at a ceremony honoring recipients in Washington, D.C., at the Great Hall of the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Department Building.
In 1962, President Kennedy designated May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. National Police Week pays special recognition to officers who have fallen in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Due to challenges with COVID-19, National Police Week looks a little bit different this year. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund will host virtual events during the week of May 9–15, 2021 with a focus on officer safety and wellness.