The National Rifle Association of America’s Law Enforcement Division is currently accepting nominations for the 2023 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Established in 1993, the NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award recognizes and honors an exceptional act or service by a law enforcement officer. There are three possible categories that eligible officers may be nominated under: valor, public service, or dedication to the principals of our constitutional heritage. The deadline for submitting nominations this year is November 15th.
“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 https://awards.nra.org/awards/nra-officer-of-the-year-award/.
This past spring, at the 152nd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana, 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 and then relocated to a more defensible position to locate the suspect and inform other deputies of the suspect’s location.
The suspect exited the house and began to fire 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 being critically injured, 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. Deputy Johns’ actions are a credit to his department, the community he serves and in keeping with the highest standards of law enforcement. And the NRA and its members were proud to recognize Deputy Johns as the 2022 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.