Officers, Jason Salas and Robert Sparks of the Santa Monica Police Department along with Captain Ray Bottenfield of the Santa Monica College.placed themselves in mortal danger to save the lives of students and the community following a violent shooting rampage in Santa Monica.
Chief Jacqueline A. Seabrooks remarked, “Officers Sparks and Salas displayed great bravery and courage during a violent encounter. Their actions were instrumental in bringing an end to a fierce confrontation. I am proud of their actions and of all involved in the incident.”
The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, authorized by the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001, is the highest national award for valor presented to a public safety officer.
The medal is awarded to those who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.
The Medal of Valor is awarded by the President of the United States, or his designee, to publicsafety officers cited by the Attorney General. Public safety officers are nominated by the chiefs or directors of their employing agencies and recommended by the Medal of Valor Review Board. The Attorney General has designated the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs to serve as the federal point of contact for the Public Safety Medal of Valor. Officers Sparks and Salas and Captain Bottenfield have also received the Peace Officer Valor Award from California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the Governor’s Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor from California Governor Jerry Brown, and the Medal of Valor from The California Peace Officers Association. Officers Sparks and Salas are the first recipients from the Santa Monica Police Department to receive a National Medal of Valor. President Obama proclaimed May 15- 21, 2016 as National Police Week.