Each year, The American Legion gives its National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to a well-rounded law enforcement officer who has exceeded the duty requirements expected of his or her position and has demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service coupled with professional achievement. The award, which especially takes into account heroic acts, is presented annually at the Legion's national convention.
Department Law and Order Committees are encouraged to select and honor a Law Enforcement Officer of the Year at their conventions. Departments nominate their winners for the national award by submitting an application to The American Legion, Attn: National Security-Foreign Relations Division, 1608 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006. Applications must be received no later than Feb. 1. Departments may only submit one nomination per year. Only department winners are eligible for the national award, which should be accepted at the national convention.
Nominees must be U.S. citizens and living, active, full-time and paid, sworn law enforcement officers entrusted with full authority and the powers of arrest. Posthumous awards will be acceptable only if the nominee's death has occurred after the department's selection.
Nominees must be assigned to or fully recognized by municipal, county, district or state police; highway patrol; sheriff's office or as a sworn federal law enforcement officer (FBI, Secret Service agent,
U.S. Marshal, National Park Police, U.S. Capitol Police, etc.) Military police officers or investigators are eligible if they are state law enforcement certified.
Nominees must also reside and be assigned or attached for duty in the nominating department. Federal agents serving overseas should be nominated by the overseas department.
The American Legion will provide the award winner and spouse with travel, hotel and other reasonable expenses for a round trip to the national convention city. Winners receive a letter of commendation signed by the national commander and a distinctive lapel pin noting the selection year. Law officers who are members of The American Legion will also be entitled to wear the embroidered National Law Enforcement Officer designation on the right side of their Legion caps.
The National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award recognizes officers who go above the call of duty. A major secondary purpose of this award is to encourage further development of department and post Law and Order Committees through continued recognition of law enforcement officers. It is firmly believed this award serves to promote public trust and support of our law enforcement agencies.