PBSO Medal of Honor

PBSO Medal of Honor

 

PBSO Medal of Honor Highest Medal for Valor

On July 2009, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office established a new design for its Medal of Honor to recognize a Deputy Sheriff who, while performing official criminal justice duties or serving in the line of duty, distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life, above and beyond the call of duty, while engaged in hostile action or against a dangerous or armed assailant.

There have been seven PBSO recipients of the PBSO Medal of Honor.

  • Deputy Sheriff George Clem Douglas for actions on August 27, 1921 (posthumous)
  • Agent David Kalmus, Jr.
  • Deputy Sheriff Frank Dean Genovese for actions on June 3, 1982 (posthumous)
  • Deputy Sheriff James R. Dickinson for actions on August 22, 1989 (posthumous)
  • Sergeant James S. ‘Rocky’ Hunt, III for actions on February 26, 1993 (posthumous)
  • Detective Donald C. Combs, Jr. for actions on April 27, 2007
  • Canine Kenzo for actions on June 4, 2012

The medal itself is rich with symbolism.

OBVERSE

A green laurel wreath is joined at the bottom by a gold bow-knot, a domed five pointed white star with bordered forest green, points reversed with V-shaped extremities tipped with gold balls.  A gold bar inscribed with “VALOR” is affixed to the center top V-shaped extremity.

REVERSE

At top, a Latin inscription, “CONSTANTIA ET VIRTUTE” (by firmness and courage), is supported by a laurel wreath. A center panel is for engraving the name of the recipient. The date, “MCMIX” (1909), when Palm Beach County was established, is inscribed at the bottom.

SYMBOLISM

WREATH (GREEN LAUREL LEAVES WITH BERRIES) JOINED AT THE BOTTOM BY A KNOT-

  • Dates back to Ancient Greece when a victorious athlete received a wreath of laurels which he wore on his head, and thus, the expression of “resting on one’s laurels”
  • Alludes to achievement and stands for bravery, honor, competence, and respect

GOLD BOW KNOT-

  • The bow knot in its simplest form is a modification of the square knot and is more decorative
  • Just as the laurel wreath is tied together so are the fraternal bonds of law enforcement

FIVE POINTED STAR, POINTS REVERSED, WITH V-SHAPED EXTREMITIES EACH TIPPED WITH A BALL-

  • Domed five point large star shape is symbolic of public service and sheriff law enforcement in Florida
  • White inner star is emblematic of the blossom of the orange tree (citrus sinensis), Florida’s State Flower, established in 1909
  • All V-shaped extremities signifies valor
  • Extremities each tipped with a gold ball – traditional design unique to Sheriff star badges

GOLD RING, RAYS EMANATING OUTWARD, AND INNER BLUE-GREEN DISK– signifying sunrays and water, respectively, both vital resources for Palm Beach County’s industry, agricultural, tourism, and balanced ecology

SIXTEEN CONJOINED SILVER STARS IN A CIRCLE– From 1909 to 1925 (16 years) the county’s current boundaries took final shape

CROSSED ARROWS POINTING OUTWARD

  • ARROWS– symbolic of Florida and county’s Native American history, dating back 10,000 yrs, including the 3 Seminole Wars
  • X-SHAPE OF THE CROSSED ARROWS- found on the Florida’s State Flag
  • OUTWARD DIRECTION OF CROSSED ARROWS- strength & courage; law enforcement’s role as a defender of the peace

PBSO GOLD STAR BADGE- symbolizes the oath of office, lawful authority, and righteousness

COLORS-

  • FOREST GREEN & WHITE- official color combination for Sheriffs by Florida Statute 46
  • WHITE- represents the purity of selflessness and integrity
  • GREEN- symbolic of freedom
  • GOLD- denotes excellence, knowledge, and commemorates achievement; alludes to honor and virtue
  • BLUE-GREEN– pertains to our county’s lakes, canals, waterways, and ocean

 

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