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Medals and Commendations

The Pima County Sheriff's Department awards medals and certificates to members of the Department and citizens of the community to recognize acts of heroism, the performance of outstanding service, or injuries sustained in the line of duty.

Past Awards Ceremony Programs:


Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is awarded to a member of the Department who is distinguished in a conspicuous manner through a specific act of gallantry and intrepidity, risking his or her life above and beyond the call of duty. The gallantry of the act must render the recipient so far above all others that it is clearly distinguishable from lesser forms of bravery. The deed must be one that would not have caused justifiable criticism had it not been performed and the act may not be detrimental to the mission of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

Medal of Valor

Medal of Valor

The Medal Of Valor is awarded to a member of the Department who has been distinguished by an act of gallantry that renders the recipient conspicuously above the expected standard of conduct. The act cited must be one performed while engaged in any action against an adversary of Pima County, the State of Arizona, or the United States of America.

Medal of Merit

Medal of Merit

The Medal of Merit is awarded to a member of the Department who has been distinguished by an act of heroism not involving criminal action. When an actual or attempted lifesaving risk is being considered, the deed must have been at the risk of the recipient's own life.

Purple Heart

Purple Heart

The Purple Heart is awarded to a person serving in any capacity with the Department who has been wounded or killed under any action against any adversary of Pima County, the State of Arizona, or the United States of America.

Public Safety Achievement Medal

Public Safety Achievement Medal

The Public Safety Achievement Medal is awarded to members of the Pima County Sheriff's Department or members of other public safety agencies for meritorious service involving imminent personal danger, or extreme physical challenge, or the administration of medical assistance that does not rise to the level of a Medal of Merit or a Medal of Valor.

Public Service Achievement Medal

Public Service Achievement Medal

The Public Service Achievement Medal is awarded to members of the Pima County Sheriff's Department or members of other public service agencies for exemplary performance of assigned duties during a year. The actions of the member must exhibit an outstanding degree of dedication and devotion above and beyond professional standards.

Honorable Service Medal

Honorable Service Medal

The Honorable Service Medal is awarded to members of the Department upon completion of twenty (20) years active service, retirement from the Pima County Sheriff's Department, or if killed in the line of duty.

Volunteer Service Medal

Volunteer Service Medal

Awarded to volunteer members of the Department upon completion of ten (10) years AND 5,000 hours of volunteer service or if killed while in the line of duty.

Sheriff Citizen Medal

Sheriff Citizen Medal

The Sheriff's Citizen's Medal is presented to citizens of the community, who are not members of the Sheriff's Department, for exemplary service to the citizens of Pima County. The service should clearly be above and beyond the requirements for a Sheriff's Commendation.

Retirement Medal

Retirement Medal

Awarded to a Department member who retires in good standing with a minimum of twenty (20) years service with the Department or receives a normal retirement with full benefits from ASRS, CORP, or PSPRS. A member receiving a medical retirement from CORP or PSPRS or long-term disability from ASRS may be eligible. These will be reviewed on a case by case basis where circumstances and length of service will be taken into consideration.

U.S. Military Service Medal

U.S. Military Service Medal

Awarded to a Department member who has served in the U.S. Military – Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard – in an active duty or reserve component. Member must meet one of the following criteria to receive this medal: a. Has successfully and honorably completed at least one (1) enlistment as shown by a DD214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty; OR, b. Has a Certificate of Honorable Discharge. This applies to a service member who was unable to complete a full enlistment due to a combat related injury resulting in separation from the military; OR, c. Has a Certificate of Honorable Discharge or Certificate of Service.

Sheriff Unit Commendation

The Sheriff’s Unit Commendation is awarded to units within the Pima County Sheriff’s Department for exemplary service, above and beyond the normal performance of their assigned duties. The members of the unit must have distinguished themselves by performing as a “team” to accomplish a specific, extraordinary goal or objective.

Sheriff Commendation

The Sheriff’s Commendation is awarded to members of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, members of other law enforcement agencies, or citizens of the community for dedication to public safety, outstanding commitment and devotion to the Department, or exceptional service to the community.


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