Medal of Honor
Awarded by the Chief of Police to an individual for an act of outstanding bravery or heroism by which the individual has demonstrated in great degree the characteristics of selflessness, personal courage, and devotion to duty at the risk of his/her own life. The individual’s actions substantially contributed to the saving of, or attempted saving of a human life.
This is the highest and most prestigious department award and there must be no margin of doubt or possibility of error in awarding this honor. To justify the decoration, the actions must clearly render the individual conspicuous by an act so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes heroism beyond the call of duty from lesser forms of bravery. It must be the type of deed that, if not done, would not subject the individual to any justified criticism.
A posthumous award may be made to an individual who has lost his/her life under conditions where the officer endangered themselves in circumstances consistent with good police practices
Medal of Valor
Awarded by the Chief of Police to an individual for an act, in the face of great danger, wherein valor, courage, and bravery are demonstrated over and above that normally demanded and expected.
This is the second highest department award and to warrant this distinctive decoration, the act must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and by its nature involved the saving of a human life, or attempted saving of a human life, the prevention of a serious crime, or the apprehension of a person who committed a serious crime. The action must be performed in such a manner as to render the individual highly conspicuous.
Preservation of Life
Awarded by the Chief of Police to an individual who performs an act of heroism, demonstrates good judgment, zeal, or ingenuity over and above what is normally demanded and expected, to preserve the life of another during a critical, volatile, or dangerous encounter while protecting the safety and security of the public and his or her fellow officers.
For purposes of this award, a critical, volatile, or dangerous encounter will refer to any rapidly unfolding and dynamic incident where the subject is armed and the ability or intent to use lethal force is present.
Distinguished Service Cross
Awarded by the Chief of Police to members who are cited for gallantry not warranting a Medal of Honor or a Medal of Valor. The heroic act(s) performed must render the individual conspicuous and well above the standard expected.
Purple Heart Award
Awarded by the Chief of Police to an individual who is seriously or critically injured while performing a heroic and/or police action. This award will be limited to those cases resulting from attack by an assailant, personal combat, or the performance of an act of valor.
This Purple Heart can be awarded in conjunction with other awards.
STAR (Superior Tactics and Response) Award
Awarded to an individual who, through exceptional tactics, acts to successfully resolve a critical incident, thereby promoting a culture of safety and professionalism to which all officers should aspire. The tactics displayed or performed must be conspicuously effective and above the standard expected.
Exceptional tactics includes utilization of proper tactics and appropriate force which mitigated the level of danger and which were directly responsible for preventing the incident from escalating to a deadly force situation.
Police Merit Award
Awarded by the Chief of Police to an individual who distinguishes themselves with exceptional meritorious service. Through personal initiative, tenacity, and great effort acts to solve a major crime or series of crimes, or develops a program or plan which contributes significantly to the department’s objectives and goals.
Excellence in Crime Prevention
Awarded to an individual who demonstrates personal initiative and ingenuity by developing a program or plan which contributes significantly to the department’s crime prevention strategy, or through innovation combats issues affecting the community.
Awarded by the Chief of Police to an individual who, through exceptional knowledge and behavior, performs a physical act which saves the life of another person and there is no danger to the individual’s life.
Community Service Award
Awarded to an individual who, by virtue of sacrifice and expense of his/her time or personal finance, fosters or contributes to a valuable and successful program in the area of community service or affairs, or who acts to substantially improve police/community relations through contribution of time and effort when not involved in an official capacity.
Awarded to an individual who by exemplary conduct and demeanor, performs at a superior level of duty, exhibiting perseverance with actions resulting in a significant contribution to the department and/or improvement to the quality of life in the community.
Chief's Unit Citation
Awarded by the Chief of Police to an entire unit, section, or bureau/district of the department whose members perform their assigned function in an unusually effective manner.
Innovation in Police Service Unit Citation
Awarded by the Chief of Police to a division, district, or bureau in recognition of innovative efforts and support of the community or department to address social harms, improve resiliency and wellness in our members, or improve prosocial policing practices. Innovations should further the department’s efforts to be the safest, most equitable city in the country.
Excellence in Crime Prevention Unit Citation
Awarded by the Chief of Police to a division, district, or bureau in recognition of exceptional, quantifiable policing efforts to address and reduce the frequency of adverse impacts of one or more crime types within the Denver community. Programs or focused efforts can be related to education, alternatives to traditional criminal justice approaches, community or agency collaborations, and/or enforcement.
Community Hero Award
Awarded to a community member who provided assistance to a law enforcement officer in response to a criminal or emergency incident, placing themselves in danger of bodily injury.
Outstanding Volunteer Award
Awarded by the Chief of Police to an individual who, by virtue of sacrifice and expense of his or her time, fosters or contributes to a valuable and successful program in the area of the department’s mission, vision and values, or who acts to substantially improve police/community relations through contribution of time and effort when not involved in an official capacity.
Officer of the Year Award
This award will be presented annually to an officer who has represented the department in all facets of law enforcement with a commitment to excellence, in support of the mission and values of the organization. The officer has consistently persevered in the prevention of crime and demonstrated initiative, leadership, and dedication to the law enforcement profession.
This award may be presented annually to an individual officer, technician, corporal, detective, sergeant, or command officer, or as determined by the Chief of Police.
Career Service Employee of the Quarter
This award will be presented quarterly to a CS employee who continually performs their duties through perseverance and dedication to excellence and outstanding customer service. Demonstrating a positive attitude when interacting with others and highly motivated with innovative ideas to improve efficiency, benefiting the department and community. Documentation of positive customer feedback will be considered for this award.
Career Service Employee of the Year
This award will be presented annually to a CS employee who has represented the department in all facets of service with a commitment to excellence, in support of the values of the organization, and a desire to represent the department in the manner in which they were hired.
Volunteer of the Year
This award will be presented annually to a volunteer in the program with a distinguished commitment to excellence, in support of the values of the organization.