The Department of Defense honors the Los Angeles Police Department
for its support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve
The Los Angeles Police Department was one of only 15 employers selected in July from nearly 1,500 nominations from National Guardsmen and Reservists for the 2005 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The 2005 recipients include Alticor, Incorporated; Citizens Financial Group; Eaton Corporation; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; IDACORP; Louisiana Department of Safety and Corrections; Pioneer Financial Services; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; South Dakota State University; the State of Delaware; USAA; and Wachovia. The award ceremonies took place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. on October 15, 2005, the 10th anniversary of this prestigious award program.
"I am both honored and proud to accept this award on behalf of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department," said Chief William J. Bratton. "As the men and women of the LAPD protect and serve on the streets of Los Angeles, it is important for us to remember those Department employees far from home, fighting for liberty and freedom. We must also never forget the sacrifices of the families they have left behind. The Department will steadfastly continue its support of the Guard and Reserve."
The Los Angeles Police Department has a long and proud history of supporting its employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. The LAPD provides pay differential and continuation of benefits for the length of mobilization. Mobilized employees also continue to receive service credit, accumulated annual vacation and tenure for the duration of their military service. A Military Liaison Officer Program with a dedicated officer assists mobilized employees and their families. All mobilized employees serving on active duty continue to receive promotions and annual pay step advancements.
Police Officer Brandon Valdez, a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Sergeant, helped nominate the LAPD for the award. "During convoy duty in Iraq, I was injured by an improvised explosive device and was sent back to the United States for treatment. Throughout my military activation and recovery process, the LAPD and Military Liaison Officer Dennis De Noi have given me the utmost support. I look forward to completing my tour with the Marines and picking up where I left off with the Los Angeles Police Department," said Valdez.
"All Americans can be justly proud of our Nation's employers for their exceptional support of our men and women in the National Guard and Reserves during these demanding times. The Los Angeles Police Department, through their personnel programs, provides a fine example of an employer's recognition of the sacrifice these young people make in defense of our freedoms and way of life. The Department of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is a tribute to the LAPD for its leadership and support," said David Janes, National Chairman for the National Committee for the ESGR.
The Department has had nearly 500 employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve, called to extended active military duty since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Currently, there are 60 LAPD employees on active duty around the world. Many have been recognized for their contributions and have received such awards as the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star Medal for valor.
In 1996, then-Secretary of Defense William Perry instituted the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The award publicly recognizes employers, who were nominated by their employees who voluntarily serve in the National Guard and Reserve, for exceptional support above the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and, if needed, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.
As the 1.2 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday citizens, ESGR will continue to be the informational agency for the employers of America's Patriots. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or call the National Committee at 800-336-4590.