National call underway for law enforcement agencies to submit examples of existing safety programs that successfully keep officers safe and healthy
Washington, DC—The Destination Zero program begins its sixth year of soliciting submissions for the National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in partnership with the United States Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, is seeking successful strategies that law enforcement agencies have developed and deployed to help keep officers safe and healthy. This initiative is one part of a continuing collaboration to improve officer safety and wellness.
The Destination Zero program started in 2014 and is a clearinghouse of information on safety and wellness programs that have been effectively put in place in law enforcement agencies across the country. The program shares information on DestinationZero.org and is in its annual phase of soliciting program submissions from law enforcement agencies nationwide.
There are four categories in which an agency can submit its safety or wellness program for consideration to win a National Officer Safety and Wellness Award. The first category is General Officer Safety, which deals with increasing the physical safety of officers by providing them with enhanced equipment, lifesaving first aid gear or training to improve the safety of officers as they handle crime scenes or large incidents.
The second category is Officer Traffic Safety. This category seeks those programs that specifically address driving safety and training to reduce crashes, such as increased use of seatbelts and prudent driving strategies. These programs often include marketing and outreach efforts that remind officers of the necessity to use caution and wear their seatbelts.
The third category is Officer Wellness. This category encompasses a range of strategies that improve the physical and mental health of officers to support them and their families better as they perform physically- and emotionally-demanding jobs. Submissions in this category are initiatives that promote fitness, resilience and overall well-being. The Wellness category includes programs that involve peer support, counseling resources, as well as meditation and mindfulness.
The final category is Comprehensive Safety. This classification is for agencies that have an overarching safety strategy, which improves safety and wellness at every level. The departments submitting programs in this category should have tactical safety improvements, a driving safety component, and programs that support fitness, mental health and create an overall culture of safety within the organization.
These categories were created to recognize the creativity and innovation that occurs within departments across the country while encouraging agencies to create their own programs to enhance the working environment for their officers. The Memorial Fund is now accepting submissions from law enforcement agencies. The deadline for submissions to be considered for a 2020 National Officer Safety and Wellness Award is December 31, 2019.
Interested agencies or departments can submit online by visiting DestinationZero.org, and selecting the “Submit Your Program” button at the top right-hand corner of the home page, or by contacting Nick Breul at NBreul@nleomf.org or 202-737-7133.
– # # # –
About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 21,910 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund has opened the new National Law Enforcement Museum, which tells the story of American law enforcement by providing visitors a “walk in the shoes” experience. The Museum is working to expand and enrich the relationship shared by law enforcement and the community through the Museum’s educational journeys, immersive exhibitions, and insightful programs. For more information, visit LawMemorial.org.