The call came into the Plano, Texas, police department on September 10, 2017, reporting that a man—possibly armed with a knife and gun—was breaking into a home. Officer Taylor Rust quickly arrived on the scene, where he heard a long burst of gunfire, then another, and another. "Shots fired!' he reported over his radio and moved toward the blasts.
The officer decided that the situation didn't allow him to wait for backup. A woman crouching outside the house confirmed the gunfire inside, and the officer saw several injured people in the yard. He entered the house, noticed more victims, and heard footsteps. The suspect appeared, armed with a rifle in the ready position. He appeared to look for more victims, then he faced the officer, who shot and killed him.
The violent assailant took eight lives that day. But the heroic actions of Officer Rust saved four others. For his extraordinary courage, Officer Taylor Rust was presented the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery on September 7, 2019.
As Officer Rust exemplifies, law enforcement officers—whether federal, state, local or tribal—engage in exceptional acts of bravery every day while in the line of duty. Often these acts place officers in situations where they become seriously injured, or, even worse, make the ultimate sacrifice, while protecting our communities and country.
It is time once again to honor these heroes through the Congressional Badge of Bravery. Congress passed the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008 so that, each year, these men and women may be recognized for their courageous actions. The award is overseen by the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance.
To be eligible for the current award, the officer must have performed an act of bravery between January 1 and December 31, 2018. This act must have placed the officer at risk of or resulted in an injury in the line of duty. Officers who gave their lives while serving in the line of duty may be nominated posthumously.
Nominations will be accepted from December 15, 2019, through February 15, 2020.
This is an opportunity for the heads of federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to step forward to nominate their officers. All CBOB nominations must be submitted by, or at the direction or approval of, the head of the agency that employs the nominee.