Missouri Public Safety Medals
In 2008, the state of Missouri began recognizing outstanding and heroic service by first responders and emergency personnel by awarding the Medal of Valor to public safety officers for brave acts in an attempt to save lives. In 2017, during the administration of Gov. Eric Greitens, the Missouri public safety medals program was expanded to include four additional awards for first responders and an award for civilians who provide valuable or courageous assistance to Missouri responders.
Medal of Valor
The Medal of Valor is Missouri's highest award recognizing public safety officers who exhibit exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life. The Medal of Valor is awarded annually by Missouri's Governor after recommendations are submitted by the Medal of Valor Review Board. The board includes representatives from Missouri’s public safety disciplines and the general public.
To be eligible for the Medal of Valor, a person must have been serving a public agency, with or without compensation, as a firefighter, law enforcement officer or some emergency response role. State and local corrections, court and civil defense officers (emergency management personnel) are also eligible. The Medal of Valor was created in 2004 by Senate Bill 972 during the 92nd General Assembly. The first medals were awarded for acts of bravery performed during 2007.
Department of Public Safety Medals
Recognizing the extraordinary service and bravery of Missouri’s public safety officers, in April 2017, the Missouri Department of Public Safety established four additional medals recognizing exceptional public service by Missouri responders and public safety personnel: the Public Safety Medal of Merit, the Governor’s Medal, the Director’s Leadership Medal, and the Hall of Fame Award.
The department also established the Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award to recognize the valuable or courageous assistance by civilians to Missouri’s public safety community in an emergency situation.
All Department of Public Safety award nominations are also reviewed by the Missouri Medal of Valor Review Board, which recommends individuals for recognition to the director of the Department of Public Safety.
To be eligible for the Public Safety Medal of Merit, the Governor’s Medal, the Director’s Leadership Medal or the Hall of Fame Award a person must have been serving a public agency, with or without compensation, as a firefighter, law enforcement officer or some other emergency response role. Those who are eligible include state and local corrections, and court and civil defense officers (emergency management personnel).
Public Safety Medal of Merit
The Public Safety Medal of Merit is awarded to public safety officers in recognition of an individual’s brave actions above and beyond the call of normal duty that played a critical role in successfully resolving a situation that endangered public safety.
The Governor’s Medal is awarded to a group of public safety officers (an organized team that works and trains together, such as a unit, squad, company, task force, etc., or an ad hoc group of responders who work together during a single event) in recognition of acts above and beyond the call of normal duty during a critical incident or life-threatening situation in which the collective performance or teamwork of the group was essential to the successful resolution of the incident.
Director’s Leadership Medal
The Public Safety Director's Leadership Medal is awarded to an individual at the command or staff level* whose demonstrated actions in the areas of community-oriented engagement and collaborative community-based activities have promoted an environment of greater safety, security and cooperation for community members. Through their leadership, the award winner will have established a sustainable program or cultivated and/or enhanced relationships that encouraged the collaboration of two or more groups to create an identifiable and meaningful impact on public safety.
*To be eligible for nomination a person must be a supervisor at the rank of lieutenant or higher or a civilian supervisor serving a public safety agency. Any nomination of the chief executive of a public safety agency must be made by an elected or appointed leader of the municipal or county unit of government.
Hall of Fame Award
The Hall of Fame Award is presented to a senior or retired public safety professional in recognition of an exemplary career of service to the state of Missouri. To be considered for the Hall of Fame Award, the nominee’s career must serve as a model of exceptional courage, service, fairness and compassion. Those nominated* for this award will have a distinguished career history of service above and beyond normal expectations and have devoted their talents, time and resources to improving the safety and security of Missouri’s citizens.
*Nominations for the Hall of Fame Award may be made by a statewide association or organization representing a public safety discipline.
Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award
The Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award is awarded to a civilian or group of civilians who provided valuable or courageous assistance to members of a Missouri public safety agency in an emergency situation or whose training of public safety officers can be directly linked to the saving of a life by a public safety agency. The Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award may be awarded to a citizen whose assistance was given without regard for their own personal welfare and had a positive bearing on the outcome of an incident.