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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 round-trip coach airfare or vehicle mileage, in accordance with its employee mileage reimbursement rates, staff per diem for two days, two tickets to National Commander’s Banquet, and lodging for one night in accordance with travel policies of The American Legion for an individual recipient or a single representative of a group or organization to receive the award at National Convention. The American Legion will not provide for any incidental expenses or any expenses incurred by guests accompanying the award recipient.

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.