|As the Department's third highest medal, the "Medal for Valor" is conferred upon police
officers for acts of outstanding personal bravery intelligently performed in the line of duty at
imminent personal hazard to life under circumstances evincing a disregard of personal
The image of the Police Memorial Statue, representing the years of selfless service that New
York City police officers have given to its citizens, is cast in the center of the medal. As a tribute
to all police officers the original bronze Police Memorial Statue depicting a police officer
standing next to a young boy is proudly displayed at the lobby entrance to police
headquarters for all visitors to see. Models for the original statue, sculptured by Attilio Piccirilli
in 1939 for then Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, were Patrolman Martin Gillen, 20 Precinct, standing
beside Mayor LaGuardia's then nine year old son, Eric.
Engraved Mediterranean region evergreen laurel leaves which have represented honor and
glory dating back to ancient Rome, surround the center of the medal. The outer background
and ribbon are police blue which has been the official color of policing since approximately
1845. Historically this color was used for Civil War era military uniforms. The words "For Valor,
Police Department City of New York" are written on the face of the medal in gold lettering. The
two gold stars signify the level of importance associated with this recognition. In addition, the
recipient's name is engraved on the reverse side of the medal.
The current design of the Medal of Valor, (see photo) was 1st awarded at the 1998 Annual New
York City Police Department Medal Day ceremony. Prior to the current medal all Medals of
Valor were donated by over 45 fraternal organizations and each medal varied in appearance.
September 11, 2001 resulted in the awarding
of 61+ Medals of Valor. The most ever awarded
for a single incident.
Retired Detective Paul Ragonese of Emergency
Service has been awarded a total of 5 Medals of
Valor. He has also been awarded an additional
79 assorted other Departmental Recognitions.
Lieutenant James Coan has been awarded 3
Medals of Valor and is currently still active in the
New York City Police Department. He has been
awarded an additional 45 assorted Departmental
The 1st female to be awarded the Medal of Valor
was Detective Mary Glatzle, June 1976 and since
then 25 in total have been awarded to females.
|Medal of Valor
|Beyond the Line of Duty
|Above is the
current Medal of
|Above breast bar denoted
the awarding of 2 medals