Pending approval from the Leitchfield City Council, the Leitchfield Police Department will soon institute an Awards Board to recognize its police officers for exceptional work.
Leitchfield Chief of Police Kevin Henderson introduced the Awards Board policy for review by the City Council during its regularly-scheduled Monday, November 18 meeting.
Per the policy, the LPD Awards Board will consist of the Chief of Police, the Assistant Chief of Police, and the Mayor of Leitchfield.
In a later interview, Henderson said should the City Council grant approval for the awards policy, it will go into effect after the next City Council meeting on Monday, December 2.
Awards that may be given out include the Medal of Valor, the LPD Citation for Bravery, the Officer’s Medal, the LPD Citation for Meritorious Service, the Chief’s Commendation, and the Officer of the Year Award.
Per the policy, “recommendations for awards under the jurisdiction of the Awards Board shall be submitted by memorandum, through channels to the Chief of Police, who shall refer such recommendations to the Mayor.”
While the policy details numerous awards, Henderson said some officers “may go their entire careers without getting one.”
Some, such as the Officer of the Year, will be awarded on a regular basis, but “others won’t be given out a whole lot,” Henderson said.
The recipient of the Officer of the Year Award will be determined via a vote by all Leitchfield police officers, Henderson said.
While awards will not be given out often, Henderson said officers should receive recognition when they go above and beyond the call of duty, especially in such situations as officers risk their lives to protect the lives of others.
“It helps to boost morale,” he said. “[Officers] should know their agency is behind them. And that they are needed, and they are appreciated.”
Henderson said while all law enforcement agencies have initiatives to recognize officers for outstanding work, until the recent drafting of its awards policy, the LPD did not.