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Announcing the 2015 RISE Awards: TASER and PoliceOne team up again to honor officers, agencies, and civilian partners

This year, the award program not only recognizes individual officers and departments for excellence in service, but also partners in the community who have helped police fulfill their public safety mission

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Last May, TASER International launched the first-ever RISE Awards in partnership with Police1. This program was designed to honor the extraordinary effort of a select group of individuals whose contributions to the police community exemplify heroism and leadership, and to serve as a counter to the negative coverage of policing in the mainstream press.

With more than 150 qualified nominations highlighting outstanding officers and agencies nationwide, the Awards were a huge hit. We’re very happy to announce the continuation of the program, and the official opening of nominations for the 2015 RISE Awards.

What’s New
Last year, the nominations were divided into three categories: Protecting Life, Police Leadership, and Agency of the Year. This year, we’re adding a fourth: the Community Leadership Award, which highlights a civilian group that works alongside its local police department to fulfill the same mission.

The RISE Awards do more than acknowledge tremendous efforts; they provide an opportunity for law enforcement to share their stories and strive for continuous success.

We’re excited to read your nominations for this year’s awards. Last year, we were proud to present the following awards at TASER’s official IACP 2014 party:

  • Protect Life Award to Agent Mike Spadafora of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
  • Leadership Award to Sergeant Christopher Gavette of the University of Central Florida Police Department
  • Agency of the Year Award to the Lakewood (Wash.) Police Department

RISE Categories & Details
This year we’ll be rewarding RISE winners of the first three categories with a $5,000 AXON Technology grant, a free trip to the 2015 IACP conference in Chicago with VIP access to all TASER events, and a one-year subscription to the Police1 Academy, our certified online training system.

Three winners of the Community Leadership Award will each receive a $5,000 community-building grant.

The details for each category are as follows:

  1. Protecting Life: This category will focus on individual acts of heroism under fire, such as helping to ensure the safety of a fellow officer or civilian in peril. Tell us how someone on your shift rose above the “routine.”
  2. Police Leadership: Leadership and honesty is of the highest value in law enforcement, no matter what rank an individual holds in the agency. In this category, we’ll look at individuals who are dedicated to the training and/or education of their officers in order to create a more effective police force and a safer community.
  3. Agency of the Year: Some organizations find clever ways to address familiar problems. Has your department employed an innovative strategy, harnessed technology in a unique way, or connected with the local community in a positive manner? We want to hear about it.
  4. Community Leadership Award: Those submitting nominations and those who are nominated for the above categories will have the opportunity to submit a school, church, or other community group whose goals coincide with their police department in order to create a safer community (note: organizations must be 501(c)(3) eligible).

From March 16 through May 11, we’ll be asking you to nominate exceptional individuals, departments, and partners. Think about your agency and all the times you’ve observed your colleagues doing something selfless, special, or spectacular. Then submit a nomination for us to consider. We’ll be writing profiles of some exceptional nominees from each category along the way. Winners will be announced May 16.

If you have any questions about award eligibility, send TASER an email. Otherwise, we look forward to teaming up with TASER once again to share your stories, which will highlight the very best of our profession.

Doug Wyllie writes police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug was a co-founder of the Policing Matters podcast and a longtime co-host of the program.