A Board of Merit is established in and for the City of Watertown, New York, to officially recognize and award those public safety officers and citizens who heroically perform services above and beyond the call of duty, who achieve or attempt to achieve the saving of life and/or property.
This Board of Merit's members consist solely of members of the City Council and Mayor of the City of Watertown, New York.
The procedure shall be by submitting of a candidate's action in writing by the Fire Chief and/or Police Chief with recommendation by the City Manager to the Board of Merit; a majority vote of the Board of Merit shall be binding.
Awards shall become a part of the official personnel file of the City employee, with the medal and/or ribbon an official part of their uniform.
Awards shall be broken into four categories:
Award or Medal of Valor: Through risk of personal safety, a fire fighter or police officer achieves or attempts to achieve the rescue and safety of a person from imminent danger of death or injury from, but not limited to, burning buildings, hostile conditions, rivers, criminal violence and/or prevents the spread of fire or violence to property or peace of the community above and beyond the call of duty.
Award of Meritorious Achievement: Through dedicated performance of duty of a fire fighter or police officer who achieves the same results outlined for the Medal of Valor, with the risk to personal safety within the limits of the call of duty.
Service Award: To the dedicated public safety officer, recognized by his peers and officers for continued excellence in the performance of duties over a period of time or in a particular program assignment or situation.
Citizen Award: To the nonuniformed citizen who unselfishly risks his personal safety to rescue a person from a burning building, a dangerous river or from a crime of violence or other such similar act, as ascertained by the Police and/or Fire Chief of the City of Watertown, New York.
The ceremony, time and place of the award presentation shall be at the discretion of the Board.