Nominate A Local Hero For NRA's Law Enforcement Officer Of The Year Award

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posted on October 24, 2023
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They protect and serve every day they put on the uniform, often risk their lives for complete strangers, and rarely get the recognition—or respect—they deserve. The NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, established in 1993, combats that trend, and now’s the time to nominate someone who’s gone above the call of duty for the 2023 honor.

There are three categories in which eligible officers may be nominated for the 2023 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award: valor, public service or dedication to the principals of our constitutional heritage. The deadline for submitting nominations this year is Nov. 15.

“For over 60 years, the NRA has been supporting the law enforcement community with programs designed to maintain readiness through training and competition, while at the same time honoring those officers who go above and beyond the call of duty,” said NRA President Charles L. Cotton. “The NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award is one way NRA members show our appreciation to the brave men and women who keep our streets and communities safe.”

The officer chosen for this award will be recognized at a future meeting of the NRA Board of Directors, receives an engraved firearm from GLOCK, and has their story told in the NRA Official Journals. For further information about the NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, and to complete the nomination form, please visit this webpage.

This past spring, at the 152nd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Indianapolis, Ind., the NRA honored Deputy Mark Johns of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office as the 2022 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. In August of 2022, Deputy Johns and other deputies of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office were serving a court order at a residence in their jurisdiction. While trying to communicate with the subject they were attempting to serve, the suspect, without warning, began firing rifle rounds through the door. Deputy Johns pulled a fellow deputy who had been hit to a safer area to render medical aid. He then relocated to a more defensible position to locate the suspect.

The suspect exited the house and fired on Deputy Johns, who returned fire. During the exchange, Deputy Johns was struck by two rounds, damaging his femoral artery, and sending shrapnel into his abdomen and bladder. Despite the critically injuries, Deputy Johns continued to return fire as the gunman retreated into the house and then fled the scene by vehicle. In the end, Oklahoma County deputies and Oklahoma City officers pursued the suspect, who tried to crash through the security gate at Tinker Air Force Base and was taken into custody.

Deputy Mark Johns showed courage under immense pressure on that day by continuing to engage the suspect to protect his fellow deputies and himself, after having sustained significant injuries. His actions are a credit to his department, the community he serves and in keeping with the highest standards of law enforcement. For those reasons the NRA and its members were proud to recognize Deputy Johns as the 2022 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

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