CATO created an Awards Program to identify and recognize outstanding performance by individuals and Special Weapons Teams. NOMINATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED VIA THE BELOW LINK THROUGH OCTOBER 15th, 2022.

YES – IT TAKES A LITTLE TIME AND EFFORT TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION BUT THE “REWARD” AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FOR DOING A GOOD JOB IS always appreciated.

CATO Award of Valor

The CATO Award of Valor is awarded to tactical officers who distinguish themselves by remarkable bravery or acts displaying extreme courage during a tactical incident.

CATO Chief or Sheriff of the Year

CATO Chief or Sheriff of the Year is awarded an outstanding chief who demonstrates a fierce commitment to supporting the training, equipping and deploying of their tactical team.

CATO Special Weapons Team of the Year

CATO Special Weapons Team of the Year is awarded to an outstanding California SWAT team based on a particular operation and an ongoing commitment by a team to do the best possible job, through a dedication to real-world training operations and teamwork.

CATO SWAT Officer of the Year

CATO will bestow its “SWAT Officer of the Year Award” to the SWAT officer who embodies the values, commitment and standards that set the tactical community apart. The recipient has demonstrated their contributions during operations as well as ongoing support for the betterment of the team.

Tim Anderson Leadership Award

Named for the legendary tactical innovator, philosopher and prolific author, Sid Heal, this award is presented to the individual who has demonstrated an extreme commitment to service and has proven their dedication to enhancing the profession and the tactical community. A selection committee bases its decision on an evaluation of his or her performance, dedication, and leadership. The award recognizes the recipient for:

• An unselfish dedication to the education and enhancement of the profession and tactical unit capabilities.

• A steadfast commitment to education, information sharing and innovation through training and mutual exchange of information.

• Epitomizing the highest standards of professionalism and honor in all aspects of law enforcement

Sid Heal Award of Excellence

Named for the exemplary leader, Marine and LAPD Sergeant, Colonel Tim Anderson. This award is presented to the individual who has demonstrated a consistent commitment to servant leadership and has shown a unique ability to guide, develop and inspire others. A selection committee bases its decision on an evaluation of his or her performance, dedication, and leadership. The award recognizes the recipient for:• Showing a consistent commitment to developing others

• Creating a culture of respect that fosters an atmosphere of dedication to service, teamwork, and respect for others

• Mentoring and cultivating subordinates and peers while leading up the chain of command

• Demonstrating humility and benevolence

• Practicing and accepting the responsibility of properly placing personnel in positions where they belong, rather than to check the box by placing square pegs in square holes.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious award presented by the California Association of Tactical Officers. It is an occasional award, meaning that it is not given on any set schedule but rather only when an individual deserves to be recognized for achievements that encompass a lifetime of service and accomplishment. This award is the only one not reviewed or approved by the CATO Awards Committee. Recipients of this award must win unanimous approval of the CATO Board of Directors. Likewise, the qualifications for this award cannot be attributed to a single act or incident and instead span a career, and often long after retirement. The achievements of the individual must reflect the highest level of personal commitment, leadership and dedicated service to the California law enforcement tactical community. To date, only nine individuals have been recognized with this award.

Award Nominations 2022

  • (cell is preferable)
  • Be as descriptive as possible.  Nominations will be evaluated based on the best fit for the category selected.
CATO Training Waiting List
The CATO training courses fill up very fast. If you would like to be placed on a waiting list, please send an email to:
Include the course name and dates. If openings become available or when the next course opens for registration, an email will be sent to all who are on waiting lists. Then it will be first come, first served.
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