Award Descriptions

Medal of Valor
The Medal of Valor is the highest recognition of achievement presented by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. The Medal of Valor shall be awarded to department personnel who distinguish themselves with extraordinary acts of bravery or heroism above and beyond that normally is expected in the line of duty. Personnel must have displayed extreme courage by placing their own safety in immediate peril in the pursuit of their duties. If a member uses poor judgment or procedures which created the necessity for his/her action, they will not be eligible for this award.

Lifesaving Award
Awarded for saving a human life.

Meritorious Conduct Medal
The Meritorious Conduct Medal shall be awarded to department personnel who distinguish themselves by meritorious achievement or meritorious service. Meritorious actions are those which clearly surpass that which is normally required or expected. The degree of merit need not be unique but must be exceptional and superior. Acts of courage which do not meet the voluntary risk of life requirements for the Medal of Valor may be considered for the meritorious medal.

Blue Star Award
The Blue Star shall be awarded to department personnel who receive a wound or injury of a degree necessitating hospitalization or the immediate care of a physician. This injury must be a serious nature capable of causing death or extended disability. To qualify for this award, the wound or injury must have appeared to have been caused by the deliberate actions of another in an attempt to cause injury to the member or some other person, thing, or property, or in the attempted apprehension of said person, or in an attempt to save a human life placing oneself in immediate peril.

Citizen Recognition Award
Whenever any employee believes that behavior coming to his/her attention, personally or throughout a third party, is deserving of recognition by the Department, the employee should indicate the circumstances of the incident in writing and forward it to the Awards Committee for proper processing. Examples of behavior which might be deserving of the department’s recognition range from a simple extension of assistance to an act of bravery which subjected the citizen to a high risk of injury or which contributed to the saving or significant prolonging of human life. Subject to approval by the Awards Committee, the Awards Committee may recommend a letter expressing the department’s appreciation; a Life Saving Commendation, A Community Service Award or a Valor Medal.

Outstanding Service Award
Outstanding service represents performance by an employee during a 12-month or more period which demonstrates a quality and/or quantity of work clearly and significantly exceeding the requirements of a position. This would also include work-related act(s) by an employee which results in exceptional performance on a special project, or occurrences in which the employee has demonstrated exceptional knowledge, skills or ability within the scope of assigned duties and responsibilities. An employee who has demonstrated a sustained community service, either on or off duty, is eligible for this award.

Outstanding Support Award
This award is intended for an individual who is not employed by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, but who in his/her profession has supported the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in an extraordinary effort. This would include, but not be limited to, other police agencies, Probation and Parole, Human Services, or other agencies that through a collaborative effort work with the Sheriff’s Office. Individuals who volunteer their time to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office are eligible for this award.

Problem-Solving Award
Awarded to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office employee who has shown exceptional creativity, initiative and/or determination to find solutions to a problem utilizing a problem solving approach to identify and effectively deal with a problem(s), that if not addressed, would continue to negatively impact the department and/or community.

The number of awards given is not restricted to a certain number (i.e., only one Life Saving Award, etc.). The Committee will make the determination as to how many people will receive a particular award.