[107th Congress Public Law 12]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ012.107]

[[Page 19]]


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Public Law 107-12
107th Congress

                                 An Act

  To authorize the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, and for other 
             purposes. <<NOTE: May 30, 2001 -  [H.R. 802]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Public Safety 
Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 42 USC 15201 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor 
Act of 2001''.


    After September 1, 2001, the President may award, and present in the 
name of Congress, a Medal of Valor of appropriate design, with ribbons 
and appurtenances, to a public safety officer who is cited by the 
Attorney General, upon the recommendation of the Medal of Valor Review 
Board, for extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. The 
Public Safety Medal of Valor shall be the highest national award for 
valor by a public safety officer.

SEC. 3. MEDAL OF VALOR BOARD. <<NOTE: 42 USC 15202.>> 

    (a) Establishment of Board.--There is established a Medal of Valor 
Review Board (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the ``Board''), 
which shall be composed of 11 members appointed in accordance with 
subsection (b) and shall conduct its business in accordance with this 
    (b) <<NOTE: Congress. President.>>  Membership.--
            (1) Members.--The members of the Board shall be individuals 
        with knowledge or expertise, whether by experience or training, 
        in the field of public safety, of which--
                    (A) two shall be appointed by the majority leader of 
                the Senate;
                    (B) two shall be appointed by the minority leader of 
                the Senate;
                    (C) two shall be appointed by the Speaker of the 
                House of Representatives;
                    (D) two shall be appointed by the minority leader of 
                the House of Representatives; and
                    (E) three shall be appointed by the President, 
                including one with experience in firefighting, one with 
                experience in law enforcement, and one with experience 
                in emergency services.
            (2) Term.--The term of a Board member shall be 4 years.
            (3) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the membership of the Board 
        shall not affect the powers of the Board and shall be filled in 
        the same manner as the original appointment.

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            (4) Operation of the board.--
                    (A) Chairman.--The Chairman of the Board shall be 
                elected by the members of the Board from among the 
                members of the Board.
                    (B) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Meetings.--The Board shall 
                conduct its first meeting not later than 90 days after 
                the appointment of the last member appointed of the 
                initial group of members appointed to the Board. 
                Thereafter, the Board shall meet at the call of the 
                Chairman of the Board. The Board shall meet not less 
                often than twice each year.
                    (C) Voting and rules.--A majority of the members 
                shall constitute a quorum to conduct business, but the 
                Board may establish a lesser quorum for conducting 
                hearings scheduled by the Board. The Board may establish 
                by majority vote any other rules for the conduct of the 
                Board's business, if such rules are not inconsistent 
                with this Act or other applicable law.

    (c) Duties.--The Board shall select candidates as recipients of the 
Medal of Valor from among those applications received by the National 
Medal of Valor Office. Not more often than once each year, the Board 
shall present to the Attorney General the name or names of those it 
recommends as Medal of Valor recipients. In a given year, the Board 
shall not be required to select any recipients but may not select more 
than 5 recipients. The Attorney General may in extraordinary cases 
increase the number of recipients in a given year. The Board shall set 
an annual timetable for fulfilling its duties under this Act.
    (d) Hearings.--
            (1) In general.--The Board may hold such hearings, sit and 
        act at such times and places, administer such oaths, take such 
        testimony, and receive such evidence as the Board considers 
        advisable to carry out its duties.
            (2) Witness expenses.--Witnesses requested to appear before 
        the Board may be paid the same fees as are paid to witnesses 
        under section 1821 of title 28, United States Code. The per diem 
        and mileage allowances for witnesses shall be paid from funds 
        appropriated to the Board.

    (e) Information From Federal Agencies.--The Board may secure 
directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the 
Board considers necessary to carry out its duties. Upon the request of 
the Board, the head of such department or agency may furnish such 
information to the Board.
    (f) Information To Be Kept Confidential.--The Board shall not 
disclose any information which may compromise an ongoing law enforcement 
investigation or is otherwise required by law to be kept confidential.


    (a) Compensation of Members.--(1) Except as provided in paragraph 
(2), each member of the Board shall be compensated at a rate equal to 
the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for 
level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United 
States Code, for each day (including travel time)
during which such member is engaged in the performance of the duties of 
the Board.

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    (2) All members of the Board who serve as officers or employees of 
the United States, a State, or a local government, shall serve without 
compensation in addition to that received for those services.
    (b) Travel Expenses.--The members of the Board shall be allowed 
travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates 
authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of 
title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular 
places of business in the performance of service for the Board.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS. <<NOTE: 42 USC 15204.>> 

    In this Act:
            (1) Public safety officer.--The term ``public safety 
        officer'' means a person serving a public agency, with or 
        without compensation, as a firefighter, law enforcement officer, 
        or emergency services officer, as determined by the Attorney 
        General. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term ``law 
        enforcement officer'' includes a person who is a corrections or 
        court officer or a civil defense officer.
            (2) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
        Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.


    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General such 
sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.


    There is established within the Department of Justice a National 
Medal of Valor Office. The Office shall provide staff support to the 
Board to establish criteria and procedures for the submission of 
recommendations of nominees for the Medal of Valor and for the final 
design of the Medal of Valor.


    Section 15 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 
(15 U.S.C. 2214) is amended--
            (1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following 
        new subsection (a):

    ``(a) Establishment.--There is hereby established an honorary award 
for the recognition of outstanding and distinguished service by public 
safety officers to be known as the Director's Award For Distinguished 
Public Safety Service (`Director's Award').'';
            (2) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) by striking paragraph (1); and
                    (B) by striking ``(2)'';
            (3) by striking subsections (c) and (d) and redesignating 
        subsections (e), (f), and (g) as subsections (c), (d), and (e), 
        respectively; and
            (4) in subsection (c), as so redesignated--
                    (A) by striking paragraph (1); and
                    (B) by striking ``(2)''.


    The Board shall consult with the Institute of Heraldry within the 
Department of Defense regarding the design and artistry of

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the Medal of Valor. The Board may also consider suggestions received by 
the Department of Justice regarding the design of the medal, including 
those made by persons not employed by the Department.

    Approved May 30, 2001.


HOUSE REPORTS: No. 107-15 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
            Mar. 22, considered and passed House.
            May 14, considered and passed Senate.