Florida's 16th Congressional Law Enforcement Awards

Congressman Vern Buchanan established the Congressional Law Enforcement Awards in 2010 to recognize and honor law enforcement officers and departments in Florida’s 16th District for exceptional achievement. Every year Congressman Buchanan hosts an award ceremony honoring the winners that were selected by an independent committee comprised of current and retired law enforcement personnel that represent a cross-section of the district’s law enforcement community. State, county, and local officials will make up the majority of the awards committee. Winners will receive a congressional certificate and their actions will be entered into the Congressional Record in the Library of Congress.

Buchanan is a strong supporter of the law enforcement community. He introduced the Thin Blue Line Act, which toughens penalties against anyone who murders targets police officers and other first responders. Specifically, the bill would make the murder or attempted murder of a first responder an “aggravating” factor in death penalty determinations. He recently led 52 of his Republican colleagues in calling for the passage of his legislation.

ELIGIBILITY: All full time and part time officers living and working in Florida’s 16th District, including local, county, correctional, probation, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are eligible for nomination. Nominations may be made for exceptional achievement in any police endeavor, including extraordinary valor, crime prevention, investigative work, community policing, community service, search and rescue, drug control and prevention, and law enforcement training programs. Citizens are also eligible to receive awards in special circumstances. Each nomination shall have occurred within the 2023 calendar year. There is no limit as to how many nominations can be made from any agency.

ENDORSEMENT: Nominations must have a signed endorsement from a citizen, the nominee’s department or co-worker, city or town official, or a member of a government agency.  

SUBMISSIONS: You can submit your nominations online at https://buchanan.house.gov/law-enforcement-awards-nomination-form There are no formal applications or specified format required for submissions.  It is recommended that nominations include a statement of specific circumstances involving distinguished performance, supplemented by supporting documents such as departmental citations, letters of recommendation, newspaper clippings or personal observance.  

Those submitting nominations should include their work, home, and cell phone numbers and email addresses for contact purposes. Please also include contact information for the nominee.

For any questions about Congressman Buchanan’s Congressional Law Enforcement Awards, please contact District Law Enforcement Coordinator Mike
Jackson at mike.jackson@mail.house.gov


Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award: This award is for officers who put their lives in harm’s way to help others. It is understood that this is always part of any officer’s duties but there are times when heroism and sacrifice in extreme circumstances need to be recognized. It should be noted that this award could be given posthumously to law enforcement personnel but also to those who have survived such encounters. Other examples include rescues after accidents and dealing with people in distress.

Dedication and Professionalism Award: This award is designed to honor law enforcement personnel that go beyond their normal duties in service to others.

Gary Tibbetts Career Service Award: This is to recognize an individual(s) that, over the course of their careers, have shown an outstanding dedication to law enforcement. This award is named in honor of Gary Tibbetts, a retired Manchester, New Hampshire police Sergeant who served for nearly 10 years as my field representative before dying from COVID-19.

Preservation of Life Award: This award is designed to recognize those who have taken spontaneous and immediate action in response to a life-threatening situation, illness, or injury.

Unit Citation Award: The Unit Citation Award is for meritorious actions that involve a group of officers in dangerous situations. i.e., SWAT team action, Division, Unit, or department in general.