Selection Criteria

The primary purpose of the Georgia Public Safety Memorial is to honor Georgia’s law enforcement officers, firefighters, corrections officers, emergency medical technicians and emergency management agency personnel who have died in the line of duty. Therefore, by definition, the criteria for inclusion is three-fold. First, was the potential Honoree a law enforcement officer, firefighter, corrections officer, emergency medical technician or emergency management agency personnel as defined herein. Second, was the potential Honoree engaged in a line of duty activity at the time of death or injury that lead to death. Third, was the potential Honoree’s death a direct and proximate result of the line of duty injury.

In order to insure long term continuity and consistency in the selection of those to be honored, the following procedures, definitions, and requirements shall apply to each potential honoree.

Definitions

“Law Enforcement Officer” means a person who is involved in crime control or reduction through the enforcement and/or prosecution of the criminal, traffic or juvenile laws of this State; and who is employed by a municipal, county, state or federal law enforcement and/or prosecutorial agency; and who is duly sworn and has arrest and/or prosecutorial powers granted by law or by the employing agency pursuant to law. This definition is intended to include prosecuting attorneys, sheriffs, deputies, police officers, state troopers, GBI agents, Department of Natural Resources sworn law enforcement personnel, Department of Transportation sworn law enforcement personnel Secretary of State sworn law enforcement personnel, Department of Corrections sworn law enforcement personnel; sworn law enforcement personnel of State Colleges and Universities, Georgia Building Authority police, World Congress Center police, MARTA police, and Federal enforcement personnel such as those employed by the F.B.I., D.E.A., U.S. Marshal’s Service, U.S. Secret Service, U. S. Parks Police, Military Police, etc. Law enforcement officers employed by privately funded institutions or corporations may be considered for inclusion, if (a) they are required by Georgia law to be certified as a peace officer by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, and (b) they are duly authorized to enforce the laws of Georgia and to exercise the power of arrest. This section is intended to include campus law enforcement officers employed by private colleges and universities, railroad police, or other sworn law enforcement personnel of private entities granted specific law enforcement powers pursuant to Georgia law, other than the private Security and Detectives Act.

“Firefighter” means a person who is involved in the prevention and suppression of fires and/or explosions; or the enforcement of federal, state, county or municipal laws/codes concerning fire prevention, suppression or arson; and who is employed by or a member of a volunteer, municipal, county, state or federal fire department that is duly authorized and empowered under Georgia law to engage in fire suppression and prevention activities. This definition is intended to include firefighters and arson investigators. Firefighters employed by privately funded fire departments and members of industrial fire brigades may be considered for inclusion, if all other provisions and definitions contained herein are satisfied.

“Corrections officer” means a person whose primary duties involve the custody, security and supervision of persons incarcerated in municipal, county, state or federal institutions; or the custody, security and supervision of persons released on probation or parole; and who is employed by a municipal, county, state or federal governmental agency; and who is duly authorized and/or certified to perform such functions consistent with state and/or federal law. This definition is intended to include jailers, corrections officers, parole officers and probation officers. Support personnel such as inmate construction supervisors, counselors, medical staff, etc., may be considered for inclusion, if at the time of death or injury they are performing the duties and functions of a “corrections officer”; and all other provisions and definitions contained herein are satisfied.

“Emergency Medical Technician” means a person who is involved in the delivery of emergency health care and transportation of an accident or illness victim; and who is duly authorized under applicable provisions of Georgia law to engage in emergency health care and transportation; and who is employed by a volunteer municipal, county, state, or federal governmental emergency medical service; or a private emergency medical service that is duly licensed under Georgia law to serve the citizens of Georgia. This definition is intended to include emergency medical technicians, paramedics, cardiac technicians, first responders and drivers as defined by rules, regulations, or laws of the governing certification authority.

“Emergency Management Agency Personnel” means a person who is involved in performing emergency management functions which provide for the health and safety of persons and property in this State, and who is employed by or a member of a volunteer, municipal, county, state or federal “emergency management agency” that is duly authorized and empowered under state or federal law to engage in emergency management activities in the State of Georgia. This definition is intended to include rescue officers and specialists.

“Line of duty” means any action which is required or authorized by law, rule, regulation, condition of employment, or for which compensation is provided by the employing agency; and is directly related to the protection of life and/or property of the citizens of Georgia or the preservation of public order within the State of Georgia. The term “Line of Duty” is not intended to be synonymous with “On Duty”. This definition is intended to include “line of duty” activities which may have occurred while the potential Honoree was in an “off duty” status. Clearly, an “off duty” employee responding to a fire, an armed robbery, an escape or an injured person would be considered to be engaged in “line of duty” activities. Additionally, a Georgia law enforcement officer, firefighter, corrections officer, emergency medical technician or emergency management agency personnel who dies while engaged in a bona fide “line of duty” activity in another state or foreign country may be considered for inclusion, if they were on an agency assignment or otherwise acting within the scope of their official capacity; and all other provisions and definitions contained herein are satisfied.

“Died in the line of duty” means death occurs as a direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained while engaged in a “line of duty” activity, or which arose out of and as a result of such person’s performance of a “line of duty” activity. Deaths caused by infectious disease contracted while performing line of duty activities or exposure to hazardous materials or conditions while performing line of duty activities are eligible for consideration. Not included under this definition are deaths attributed to natural causes, except when the medical condition arises out of a specific line of duty activity. Also not included under this definition are deaths which occur while engaged in an illegal activity, deaths attributed to voluntary alcohol or controlled substance abuse, deaths caused by gross negligence or misconduct, and deaths caused by the deceased’s intention to bring about his or her own death.

Nomination for Inclusion

Prior to being considered for inclusion on the Georgia Public Safety Memorial, the following written documentation must be on file with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center:

verification of employment status as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, corrections officer, emergency medical technician or emergency management agency personnel;

verification that the potential Honoree was engaged in a “line of duty” activity at the time of death or injury that lead to death; and

verification that death occurred as a direct and proximate result of the “line of duty” injury.

Documentation may include but is not limited to death certificates, police reports, coroner or medical examiner reports, newspaper articles, documents which evidence the payment of death benefits, sworn statements or affidavits submitted by persons having first hand knowledge or pertinent facts and circumstances, historical records, or other written documentation found acceptable by the Georgia Public Safety Memorial Committee.

Review and Recommendation Procedure

Staff of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center will assimilate and submit documentation on each potential Honoree to the Georgia Public Safety Memorial Committee for review and recommendation. The Memorial Committee will review the pertinent facts and circumstances to determine if sufficient documentation exists to satisfy the criteria for inclusion as stated herein. Upon the Committee’s determination that sufficient documentation exists, a recommendation for inclusion will be forwarded to the Georgia Board of Public Safety for final approval.

Final Approval for Inclusion

The Georgia Board of Public Safety will consider all recommendations for inclusion submitted by the Public Safety Memorial Committee. The Board may at its discretion approve, deny, or remand for additional documentation the Committee’s recommendations. Final approval for inclusion will be made by formal resolution of the Georgia Board of Public Safety. Inclusion on the Georgia Public Safety Memorial is a privilege and not a right, and the decision of the Board shall be final and non-appealable.

Exceptions and Clarifications

When the criteria for inclusion is otherwise satisfied, the following issues shall be considered irrelevant to the selection process and shall in no way prevent the inclusion of that person.

The issue of full-time employment versus part-time employment shall not constitute a basis for denial of inclusion. The issue is not how many hours per week the person worked, rather was the person acting in an official capacity of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, corrections officer, emergency medical technician, or emergency management agency personnel at the time of death or injury.

The issue of paid versus non-paid employment shall not constitute a basis for denial of inclusion. In this regard, volunteer firefighters, reserve law enforcement officers or deputy sheriffs, etc., are most often not compensated for their work, but nevertheless perform their duties in an official capacity.

The issue of “on duty” versus “off duty” shall not constitute a basis for denial of inclusion. Personnel in the subject categories are frequently called upon and expected to respond to emergencies and/or requests for assistance while they are technically “off duty”.

For the purposes of this document, the phrase “engaged in a line of duty activity” shall be interpreted to include the response or attempted response to an incident requiring “line of duty” activity, or the prevention or attempted prevention of circumstances which, if left unattended, would require “line of duty” activity. In this regard, the issue is whether or not the person was trying to respond to, prevent or otherwise mitigate an incident or set of circumstances which threaten life, property or public order.

If the nominee appears on a National Memorial Wall, the nominee shall be included on the Georgia Public Safety Memorial Wall.

Law enforcement officers, firefighters, corrections officers, emergency medical technicians or emergency management agency personnel activated into National Guard or military service to respond to a civil disorder, natural or technological disaster may be eligible for consideration.

In reviewing nominees for inclusion, consideration should be given to the fact that individuals employed by public safety agencies often perform duties which may be considered “routine”, but nonetheless, serve to protect life and property and preserve public order. Death as a result of “routine” service to the public, or in the case of training, preparing oneself to serve, may be considered sufficient cause for inclusion.

Non-Reciprocal

The determination that a law enforcement officer, firefighter, corrections officer, emergency medical technician or emergency management agency personnel died in the line of duty, and that the facts and circumstances associated with the incident satisfied the criteria for inclusion on the Georgia Public Safety Memorial, shall have no bearing and shall not be considered in the determination of the entitlement of such person to indemnification, workers’ compensation, disability, health, or any other privilege or benefit from such person’s public or private employer or the State of Georgia. Conversely, the determination that a potential Honoree is entitled to such benefits and/or privileges does not necessarily entitle such person to inclusion on the Georgia Public Safety Memorial.

ADOPTED BY UNANIMOUS VOTE
GEORGIA PUBLIC SAFETY MEMORIAL COMMITTEE
JUNE 22, 1994

APPROVED AS PRESENTED
GEORGIA BOARD OF PUBLIC SAFETY
AUGUST 10, 1994 (MINUTES)

AMENDED CRITERIA ADOPTED BY GEORGIA PUBLIC SAFETY MEMORIAL
COMMITTEE ON MARCH 18, 1999. (UNANIMOUS VOTE)

AMENDED CRITERIA ADOPTED BY GEORGIA PUBLIC SAFETY MEMORIAL
COMMITTEE ON JUNE 7, 2012

APPROVED AS PRESENTED
GEORGIA BOARD OF PUBLIC SAFETY
JANUARY 10, 2013 (MINUTES)