WASHINGTON, DC — On May 14, the Senate passed by voice vote a bill, S. 39, that would establish a medal for public safety officers who act with “extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty.” The Public Safety Medal of Valor Act, which cleared the House on March 22, now heads to President Bush for his signature.
The bill calls for the medal to be presented to as many as 10 officers each year by the President, on behalf of the Congress and the American people. The recipients would be firefighters, police or other law enforcement officers, or emergency services officers, and would be selected by the Attorney General, in consultation with a new review board composed of 11 public safety experts chosen by the President and congressional leaders. Support for this legislation by members of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) was instrumental in the bill’s passage.
The bill would also create a National Medal Office within the Justice
Department to establish the specific criteria for the medal.