BIDEN's Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act Passes Judiciary Committee During National Police Week
Badge Honors Exceptional Acts of Bravery in the Line of Duty
On the morning of the National Police Officers' Memorial Service, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.'s (D-DE) Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act (S.2565). This bipartisan legislation establishes two awards, one to honor federal law enforcement officers and a second award to honor state and local law enforcement officers who perform exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty.
"These courageous officers fight the good fight each and every day, often putting their lives on the line," said Sen. Biden, referring to the fact that 2007 was one of the deadliest years yet for law enforcement officers. "Our federal, state and local law enforcement officers protect and serve our nation, and we should be recognizing those that go above and beyond to keep our communities safe."
The Badge of Bravery Act would honor both federal law enforcement and state and local law enforcement officers who have performed an exceptional act of bravery while in the line of duty and are injured or risked serious physical injury or death as a result. Officers would be nominated each year by their law enforcement agency, and the bill would establish one federal and one state board of review to process nominations and select the final award recipients. Each honoree would receive a badge presented to them by the Attorney General or the member of Congress for the honoree's congressional district.
"The President awards the Purple Heart for military personnel wounded or killed during armed service, and most state and local police departments have commendations or medals recognizing officers injured in the line of duty," said Sen. Biden. "It's about time we have a Congressional award to honor our federal, state and local officers."
Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and John Sununu (R-NH) are original co-sponsors of this bi-partisan bill. In addition, the Badge of Bravery Act is supported by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.
"On behalf of the over 25,000 Federal law enforcement agents who are members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association I would like to thank Senator Biden for his tremendous leadership in both introducing the Badge of Bravery and steering it through the Judiciary Committee this morning. Every year over 150 Federal law enforcement officers and agents are seriously injured in the line of duty. The Badge of Bravery will finally recognize these brave men and women for their sacrifice," said Art Gordon, FLEOA National President. "I would also like to thank Senator Biden for working with FLEOA to broaden the scope of the Badge of Bravery to include state and local law enforcement officers. We believe that it highly appropriate for these officers to also have a mechanism through which their bravery can be recognized."