Policy: Departmental Awards Program

PURPOSE

The purpose of this order is to establish a program to provide awards to members of the Michigan State University Police Department (Department), partners, and citizens of the community; who have performed acts or services of a commendatory nature. To that end, all Department members are encouraged to publicly recognize any individual that exhibits outstanding performance.

POLICY

The involvement of the Chief of Police (Chief) is crucial to the success of the Award Program. It is the policy of this Department that an Award Program Committee (Committee) can best serve as oversight and counsel in the success of this Award Program.

PROCEDURES

Award Program Committee

The Award Program Committee shall consist of five voting members who collectively reflect the various bureaus, units and ranks within the Department.

Committee members are appointed by the Chief.

The committee shall include one voting non-sworn employee.

Each voting committee member shall serve no more than one 4-year term.

The Chief shall appoint an Award Program Coordinator (Coordinator).

The Coordinator shall be responsible for preparing the annual Award Program Ceremony and act as a liaison between the Committee and the Chief.

The Coordinator shall serve as a non-voting member on the Committee.

The committee shall elect an Award Program Committee Chairperson (Chairperson) at the start of their term.

The Chairperson shall oversee all committee meetings and arrange the award program voting process.

An Award Program Committee Secretary (Secretary) shall also be selected within the Committee to document voting decisions and meeting minutes.

The Secretary shall serve as a non-voting member of the Committee.

The Committee will meet at least quarterly to review nominations, or as determined by the Chairperson.

Award Submissions

Eligible Persons

Any Department employee who has personal knowledge of an act, achievement, or service that qualifies for formal recognition may nominate an employee or citizen for an award recognizing such act, achievement or service.

All full-time, part-time, sworn, and non-sworn employees of the Department are eligible for awards or commendations; unless otherwise stated in the award program description.

Awards and commendations may also be presented to citizens for their contribution to law enforcement; or presented to members of another law enforcement agency for assisting this Department.

Nominations

The nominator shall complete Section I and the detailed description of the incident on the Award Nomination Form located on the Department’s technology page. After the form is completed, the nominator shall:

Civilian or officer nominating an officer or civilian:

Send the completed form to the nominee’s supervisor for that incident.

Upon receipt of the form, the supervisor of that incident shall review the recommendation and forward it to the Coordinator using the dedicated email established (██████████).

Once reviewed and voted on by the Committee, the Coordinator will submit nomination forms to the Chief for review.

The Chief shall notify the Coordinator of their decision; or about any necessary modifications required on the nomination form.

Supervisor nominating an officer or civilian:

Send the completed form to the Coordinator using the dedicated email established.

Once reviewed and voted on by the Committee, the Coordinator will submit the nomination form to the Chief for review.

The Chief shall notify the Coordinator of their decision; or about any necessary modifications required on the nomination.

Committee Process for Nominations

During the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the described action, the Chairperson or designee shall provide any supporting information allowed to be released and requested to the Committee prior to voting.

Committee Meeting on Nominations

Upon receipt of notice by the Coordinator, the full Committee shall meet to review award recommendations.

The Chairperson may determine the order in which award nominations are reviewed.

Nominations will be reviewed to determine if the action clearly goes beyond the normal scope of duty and responsibilities.

If, at the discretion of the Committee, the action warrants either a higher or lower degree of citation; the Committee may adjust the recommendation.

The Committee shall either approve or deny the recommendation by a simple majority vote.

If a member of the Committee is nominated for an award or is related by blood, marriage or partnership to the nominee, the Committee member will dismiss themselves from the meeting during the vote.

A non-voting member of the committee shall provide the fifth vote, if a unanimous decision is not made by the other four voting members.

The Committee’s recommendation shall be forwarded with explanation to the Chief for final review and approval.

In all cases, the Chief has the final authority about the award decision.

Award Presentation

Awards are presented or recognized at the Department’s Annual Awards Ceremony hosted by the Department.

All Department employees and those receiving awards are invited to attend the ceremony.

Types of Awards

Years of Service Award

All employees shall be recognized for their years of service, i.e., 10 years, 20 years, 25 years, etc.

That employee shall be presented with a certificate and letter of recognition during the Ceremony.

In addition, sworn personnel shall receive a Citation-style uniform insignia and non-sworn personnel a similar style pin that would be worn on business attire.

Letter of Commendation

A letter written for a specific incident by the Nominee’s supervisor or the supervisor in charge of the incident and sent to the Committee using the dedicated email for recognition in the Award Program materials.

Once approved by the person’s supervisor, the letter shall be presented at the unit level to the employee and a copy of the letter retained in that nominated employee’s personnel file.

Letters of Commendation will be recognized at the Award Program Ceremony by inclusion in the Award Program materials.

Eligibility

All full-time, part-time, sworn, and non-sworn employees of the Department.

A Letter of Commendation may also be presented to citizens or members from another law enforcement agency for their contribution to the Department.

Humanitarian

Awarded to an employee who provides service or a series of acts demonstrating a high level of compassion for others in the community.

These employee acts of caring and compassion are performed by dedicating extraordinary time or effort in meeting the needs of an individual or a group.

The majority of these acts shall take place outside of regular job duties and during the normal course of employment.

Recommendations are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate and letter of recognition at the Award Program Ceremony.

Eligibility

All full-time, part-time, sworn, and non-sworn employees of the Department.

Citation

Awarded where an employee, through diligent effort, technical mastery of a job skill, particularly effective interpersonal relations skills, or other unique and effective actions; advanced the department goals of excellence, courtesy, community team policing, customer service or mitigated a potential threat to the community.

Recommendations for a Citation are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate and letter of recognition at the Award Program Ceremony.

In addition to the certificate and letter of recognition, sworn personnel shall receive a Citation-style uniform insignia.

The insignia’s colors are eight alternating white and black stripes.

Eligibility

All full-time, part-time, sworn, and non-sworn employees of the Department.

A Citation may also be presented to citizens or to members of another law enforcement agency for their contribution to the Department.

Meritorious Service

An instance where an employee has by effective, intelligent effort has assisted in or been personally responsible for improvement in the Department’s ability to perform responsibilities charged to it.

The award would also include a person who has by diligent effort been personally responsible for the effective conclusion of an incident.

Instances where an employee has by particularly intelligent and effective actions arrested a person or persons who posed an actual or potential threat to the community.

Recommendations for a Meritorious Service Award are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate and letter of recognition at the Award Program Ceremony.

In addition to the certificate and letter of recognition, sworn personnel shall receive a Meritorious Service style uniform insignia.

The insignia’s colors are Red/White/Red.

Eligibility

All full-time, part-time, sworn, and non-sworn employees of the Department.

A Meritorious Service Award may also be presented to citizens or members of another law enforcement agency for their contribution to the Department.

Police Heart

Awarded to employees who were actively engaged in Departmental activity at the time of an injury that required professional medical treatment.

The award is intended to recognize employees who have been injured as a result of assaults, but the Committee may also consider other injuries resulting from fires, explosions, etc.

The Committee may consider injuries sustained from falls or other accidents.

The Committee may not consider any injury sustained as a result of conduct which does not meet Department standards of conduct.

Recommendations for a Police Heart Award are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate and letter of recognition at the Award Program Ceremony.

In addition to the certificate and letter of recognition, sworn personnel will receive the Police Heart style uniform insignia.

The insignia’s colors are purple/white/purple/white/purple

Eligibility

All full-time, part-time, sworn, and non-sworn employees of the Department.

A Police Heart Award may also be presented to citizens or members of another law enforcement agency for their contribution to the Department.

Life Saving

An instance where an employee has, through particularly intelligent or courageous application of first aid and/or rescue techniques, saved the life of a fellow employee or citizen; but not beyond the call of duty.

No risk to the employee’s life is involved.

Recommendations for the Lifesaving Award are to be submitted on the Award Recommendation Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate and letter of recognition at the Award Program Ceremony.

In addition to the certificate and letter of recognition, sworn personnel will receive the Life Saving style uniform insignia.

The insignia’s colors are white/red/white.

Eligibility

All full-time, part-time, sworn, and non-sworn employees of the Department.

A Life Saving Award may also be presented to citizens or members of another law enforcement agency for their contribution to the Department.

Bravery

An instance where an employee has risked their life in the performance of their duty, or by their actions saved the life of a fellow employee or citizen; but not beyond the call of duty.

Recommendations for the Bravery Award are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Awards Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate and letter of recognition at the Award Program Ceremony.

In addition to the certificate and letter of recognition, sworn personnel will receive the Bravery style uniform insignia.

The insignia’s colors are blue/white/blue.

Eligibility

All full-time, part-time, sworn, and non-sworn employees of the Department.

A Bravery Award may also be presented to citizens or members of another law enforcement agency for their contribution to the Department.

Valor

An act of bravery where an employee has risked their life in the performance of their duty.

Such an act must be fully in accordance with Departmental policy and procedure; and be above and beyond the call of duty.

Recommendations for the Valor Award are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate and letter of recognition at the Award Program Ceremony.

In addition to the certificate and letter of recognition, sworn personnel will receive the Medal of Valor style uniform insignia.

The insignia’s colors are red/blue/red with an embedded “V” in the blue field.

Eligibility

All full-time sworn employees of the Department.

A Valor Award may also be presented to members of another law enforcement agency for their contribution to the Department.

Medal of Honor (Posthumous)

A plaque honoring an employee for the Medal of Honor posthumously shall be presented to the family of a Department member killed in the line of duty or who dies as a result of injuries received in the line of duty.

Recommendations for the Medal of Honor are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee’s family is presented the plaque at the Award Program Ceremony or at other appropriate times, as determined by the Chief.

Eligibility

A Department member who is killed in the line of duty or who dies as a result of injuries received in the line of duty.

Student of the Year

Presented to a student employee of the Department for an exemplary level of service to the Department and community that spans an entire year.

The basis for the award may be a single activity, continuous activity or a series of activities all evincing the same high quality of performance.

Recommendations are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the student employee is presented a certificate,a letter of recognition and a plaque at the Award ProgramCeremony.

Eligibility

All student employees of the Department.

Support Staff Employee of the Year

Presented to a part-time employee or Security Specialist of the Department for an exemplary level of service to the Department and community that spans an entire year.

The basis for the award may be a single activity, continuous activity or a series of activities all evincing the same high quality of performance.

Recommendations are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate, letter of recognition and a plaque at the Award Program Ceremony.

Eligibility

All part-time employees or Security Specialists of the Department.

Civilian of the Year

Presented to a full-time non-sworn employee of the Department for an exemplary level of service to the Department and community that spans an entire year.

The basis for the award may be a single activity, continuous activity or a series of activities all evincing the same high quality of performance.

Recommendations are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the employee is presented a certificate, letter of recognition and a plaque at the Award Program Ceremony.

Eligibility

All full-time non-sworn employees of the Department.

Officer of the Year

Presented to a sworn employee of the Department for an exemplary level of service to the Department and community that spans an entire year.

The basis for the award may be a single activity, continuous activity or a series of activities all evincing the same high quality of performance.

Recommendations are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations shall be reviewed by the Committee and if approved, the officer is presented a certificate, letter of recognition and a plaque at the Award Program Ceremony.

Eligibility

All full-time sworn employees who are below the rank of Sergeant.

Department Leadership Award

Presented to an employee of the Department who is a strong leader and demonstrates the ability to guide professional development in others.

The employee shall have strong relationships that support a high level of trust and integrity.

The employee continues to contribute to the success of the Department’s initiatives.

Recommendations are to be submitted on the Award Nomination Form.

Recommendations will be reviewed by the committee and if approved, the employee is presented with a certificate, letter of recognition and a plaque at the Award Program Ceremony.

Eligibility

All full-time employees

One sworn member at the rank of Lieutenant or below

One non-sworn member who is at the supervisory level of APSA 14 or below.

Miscellaneous

The Award Nomination Form for all letters of commendation, humanitarian, citation, meritorious service, police heart, life-saving, bravery, valor and Medal of Honor (posthumously) awards shall be submited within ten (10) days of the incident or knowledge of the same.

Failure to meet this requirement may result in the rejection of the nomination.

Only awards presented to an officer by this Department may be recognized with an approved uniform insignia.