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Awards & Scholarship For Individual Members And Agency Recognition

To recognize the outstanding work and accomplishments of men and woman in the park law enforcement profession throughout North America we encourage you to submit nominations of deserving officers and agencies.

Award Categories for Individual Members

1. Life Saving Award: Includes acts that are performed both in the line of duty and while acting in an off duty capacity.

2. Valor Award: Any act of gallantry or courage while working as a park law enforcement officer.  This includes acts of valor performed either on duty or in an off duty  capacity.

3. Distinguished Service Award:   Recognizes exceptional service to park law enforcement and to the community in which the officer serves.  Service must be in addition to the  officer’s regular duties.

4. Lifetime Achievement Award:   Recognizes career of service to both park law enforcement and the Park Law Enforcement Association (PLEA).  A minimum of 20 years in park law  enforcement and 10 years associated with PLEA is required.

Work status of officers that can receive awards:

1. Full-time officers are eligible for all four awards.
2. Part-time and auxiliary officers are eligible for the “Lifesaving Award” and the “Valor Award”.

Status with the Park Law Enforcement Association:
All award nominees must meet one of the following PLEA membership conditions:
1. Officer must be an individual member in good standing of the Park Law Enforcement Association (PLEA).
2. Officer must be employed by a department that has an agency membership in good standing with the Park Law Enforcement Association (PLEA).

Nomination Procedures and Selection Criteria:           
1. Nominations should be made for acts and service that occur between December 1 and November 30 for the year prior to each annual PLEA Conference. 
2. All nominations are to be in written form.
3. Nominations will be submitted to the Executive Director.
4. All nominations are to be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the annual PLEA Conference.
5. An Awards Committee selected by the PLEA President will review all nominations.  This committee will then make all determinations of any awards bestowed.
6. The PLEA President will notify all award recipients.  The recipients will receive their awards at the annual PLEA Conference if possible.
7. All decisions by the awards committee are final.

Commander Newell S. Rand Jr.  Scholarship Program

The Park Law Enforcement Association Newell S. Rand Jr. Scholarship Program is designed to provide scholarships to persons pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a Park Law Enforcement related course of study. 

- being a graduate of an accredited high school,
- having a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or if enrolled in college, having a   cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, and
- being enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 hours per semester) in a post-secondary institution.
An applicant must submit the scholarship application containing the information above and include with it the following;
1. Three letters of recommendation (one of which must be from a counselor/instructor, principal and/or college advisor);
2. A one page essay explaining why this scholarship is desired;
3. A listing and summary of school and community activities exhibiting leadership and character
Qualified candidates must be pursuing a degree in one of the following areas of study;
- Environmental/Park law enforcement
- Criminal Justice students taking classes in environmental areas such as geology, biology, wildlife management, planning, forestry, some aspect of natural resource management or a closely related field. Any related degree that indicates a clear career path to some aspect of park operations as a career goal.

Scholarships will be awarded once per year subject to appropriated funds to students selected by the Park Law Enforcement Association Board of Directors. The amount of the scholarship is $1000.00.  Once awarded, a recipient must maintain a 2.5 GPA each semester and remain a full-time student for the duration of the scholarship.  Funds must be expended within one year and proof of enrollment will be required.

All applications, including other required documents, must be emailed to by June 1 of each year to be considered by the committee for that calendar year. Applications received after June 1st will be applied to the following calendar year. Applications must be typed. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.

Scholarship Application (1).docx

Newell S Rand Jr., commander of the Prince George’s County Division of the Maryland National Capital Park Police died on March 19th, 1997.  He was serving as Vice President of PLEA at the time of his death.  During his tenure with the Park Police he was instrumental in bring many new innovations to both his department and the field of park law enforcement.  The Park Law Enforcement Association is proud to sponsor this scholarship in memory of Commander Rand.

Agency  Recognition Awards

Platinum Excellence Award: Awarded by the current Board of Directors to that park enforcement or park safety agency that demonstrates a commitment to excellence in park law enforcement, safety and education and has demonstrated a commitment to sustainability, crime reduction, inter agency collaboration and accountability to the taxpayer in reducing duplicative services. The successful agency should have a demonstrated history or track record of implementing innovative management strategies that increase effectiveness or efficiencies in the delivery of park safety or security protocols. Submit documentation of your agency’s success in 500 words or less outlining how your efforts are consistent with one or both of the above goals. Include any media coverage, photos or other supporting documentation that supports your nomination. Additionally, the organization’s highest ranking official or their designee must also write a letter of support for the award. 

Applying agencies must forward their completed documentation to the Executive Director by January 15th; Award(s) to be recognized at the annual PLEA conference. Successful agencies will receive 2 free conference waivers for the next conference the following year. 

President's Award: Given to that park enforcement or park safety agency that the Executive Director, President and available past presidents feel exemplifies excellence in all aspects of park law enforcement to include  professionalism, enhanced safety for park guests, furthering the cause of park law enforcement as a specialty enforcement agency and education of park users to have a better understanding of the value of parks and recreation. The successful agency will have a demonstrative history of collaboration and partnership with other park professionals as well as other law enforcement partners.

Applying agencies must forward their completed documentation to the Executive Director. Award(s) to be recognized at the next annual PLEA conference.

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