Division of Criminal Justice Services

Police Officer of the Year Award / Medal of Valor

This award provides statewide recognition of the police officer or officers who have demonstrated exceptional valor in service to the people of New York State.

The Police Officer of the Year Selection Committee will select the recipients of the 2021 and 2022 awards, with the awards scheduled to be presented this fall during separate ceremonies for each year’s recipient(s).

2020 Recipient: Middletown Police Officer Evan Barone
While on routine patrol, Officer Barone was flagged down by a woman outside of her home. He stopped, got out of his marked patrol vehicle and spoke with her. The woman told Officer Barone that her ex-boyfriend was inside her home, armed with a gun and refused to leave. As the woman talked with Officer Barone, her ex-boyfriend burst through the front door of the home and onto the porch, firing a 9mm handgun. A bullet struck the officer’s left forearm and lodged in his body armor. Despite being seriously injured, Officer Barone returned fire and hit his assailant multiple times. He then secured custody of the gunman, protecting the woman with whom he was speaking and several children and adults nearby. Officer Barone then radioed for help, applied a tourniquet to his own wound to control the bleeding and waited for medical assistance.

A Selection Committee with the following members reviews nominations and selects the award recipient(s):

  • Commissioner, Division of Criminal Justice Services
  • Superintendent, New York State Police
  • Executive Director, New York State Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Counsel and Executive Director, New York State Sheriffs’ Association
  • President, Police Conference of New York
  • President, New York State Association of PBAs
  • President, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York

Please call 518-485-7635 for more information or to learn when nominations will be accepted for the next award.


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