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Recognition Awards


Sullivan Brothers Award of Valor Header

Award of Valor Medallion

The Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor shall be awarded to peace officers and firefighters who, while serving in an official capacity, distinguished themselves by the performance of an heroic act in excess of normal demands of police or fire service where the person was fully aware of the threat to his/her personal safety.

| Criteria for Eligibility | Nomination Procedure |
| Commendation Committee | Contact Information |
| Congressional Badge of Bravery |

Criteria for Eligibility
  Each commendation for the Award of Valor is based on the following criteria:
1. The situation was extremely hazardous. Fire Fighter Photograph
2. A strong possibility existed at the time the officer/firefighter acted that he/she could have suffered serious injury or death.
3. The act was not foolhardy.
4. The officer/firefighter did not use poor judgment, thus creating the necessity for his/her acts.

Nomination Procedure
Iowa Trooper Photograph

A supervisory officer/firefighter who believes that the action of a subordinate may warrant receipt of the Award of Valor shall submit a recommendation to the highest ranking authority of the agency involved in the form of written communication.

The communication shall contain a statement of the action, statements of witnesses (if practical), and any other information which would assist in an evaluation of the action.


The officer/firefighter to whom the recommendation is submitted shall cause the nomination to be investigated and shall include but not be limited to:

  1. A detailed statement of the act performed.
  2. Date and place where the act was performed.
  3. A copy of any newspaper accounts of the incident.
  4. Statements from any available witnesses.

Likewise, the report shall contain a recommendation to the Committee from the highest ranking authority and shall be submitted by June 30th of each year for the preceeding fiscal year for consideration by the Commendation Committee. Presentation ceremonies for those who warrant award of the Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor shall be held during the fall each year.

While it is the intent of these procedures for recommendations to channel through the organizational structure, nothing herein shall preclude civil authorities from recommending, investigating, and submitting nominations to the Sullivan Brothers' Commendation Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined.

Commendation Committee

All recommendations that may warrant the awarding of a Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor shall be forwarded to the Commendation Committee by the appropriate ranking officer/firefighter or civil authority of the agency involved.

    Police Officer Photograph
Firefighter Photograph

The Commendation Committee shall review the criteria, the nomination, and all supporting documents. Any such recommendations to the Governor for the issuance of an Award of Valor shall be based upon a simple majority vote of those Committee members present and voting. However, no such vote shall be taken unless there are at least six (6) members present/voting.

An appropriate plaque, medallion, plus uniform and lapel pins will be awarded to the recipient, or if posthumously, to a member of his/her family, by the Governor during the fall of each year or as designated by the Governor of the State of Iowa.

Contact Information
Nominations should be sent to:

Attention: Alex Murphy - Public Information Officer - Investigative Operations Divisions
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Office of the Commissioner
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
E-Mail: Valor
Phone: (515) 725-6189

Congressional Badge of Bravery:

The Law Enforcement Congresional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-298), establihed an award to honor exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state, and local law enforcment officers. The medals are awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney General and are presented by the recipients' Congressional representatives.

For more information regarding the Congressional Badge of Bravery please visit:

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Created: 02-07-2006
Last Updated: 11-08-2012 (JGL)