Police. Fire. EMS. 911.

The Protector Award.

Recognizing first responders who embrace technology to PROTECT our communities. Sharing their stories of bravery and courage.


Innovation meets grit.

Stories of Courage
Illinois State Police

Director Leo Schmitz

Director Schmitz has been a leader in the Illinois law enforcement community since joining the Chicago Police Department in 1986. Most recently, he was appointed Director of the Illinois State Police under Governor Rauner. After graduating from Southern Illinois University, Schmitz began his law enforcement career with the Chicago Police Department patrolling the streets of Chicago. Throughout his law enforcement career, Schmitz has received numerous special commendations, honorable mentions and recognition awards. As Schmitz rose through the ranks, he quickly realized the significant role that technology plays in public safety and made technology a critical component in enabling his teams to better serve. Schmitz has also been active in embracing technology under his leadership and while serving on countless public safety and industry associations.

Aurora, IL

The Aurora Police Department

Sgt. Wolcott accepted the Protector Award on behalf of Chief Kristen Ziman and the Aurora Police Department. Aurora PD was given the award for their innovation and use of technology, specifically in the departments innovative use of social media to engage their community as well as their deployment of drone solutions, where this game changing technology has been used for everything from photographing traffic scenes to searching for murder suspects. These efforts were brought to bear during the Henry Pratt shooting where their teams deployed drones to help officers respond and to live stream the complex scene to command and control elements. This award honors the department as well as the first responders who were injured and risked their lives in the deadly active shooter incident on February 15th, 2019.

The Boston Police Department

Boston Regional Intelligence Center

Assistant Chief & Executive Director, David Carabin, accepted the awarded on behalf of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). The Boston Police Department’s BRIC is the city’s intelligence fusion center responsible for reducing crime and ensuring safety of the communities citizens. The BRIC has been a national leader in adopting new and emerging technology not only to analyze to combat crime but to better share information and collaborate with the city’s first responders and private sector partners. The BRIC is a model for how technology can be deployed to improve interagency and public-private sector coordination

DC Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency

Charlie Guddemi

Charlie Guddemi serves as the District of Columbia’s Statewide Interoperability Coordinator for the Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency. In this role, Guddemi has the difficult task of managing critical technology and communications integration, interoperability, and compliance throughout the nation’s capital and the surrounding region. Guddemi has championed technology in creative ways for years, having secured some of this nation’s largest special events and its most revered landmarks. Having served in Special Operations, and Major Events within the U.S. Park Police, Guddemi’s 25 year federal law enforcement career culminated with him leading the agency’s innovation efforts, as a Commander and then Chief of Technical Services. Guddemi also serves on various public safety associations and committees focused on leveraging technology to support agencies and their communities.

Nominate a Protector.

Recognize those who serve your community.

We want the world to hear your story. Tell us more about why you, or a first responder you know, deserves to your story told. We’re committed to making sure the heroic efforts of first responders all over the globe are given the platform and recognition they deserve.  Learn More

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ResponderXLive is a first-of-its-kind monthly event series optimized to meet the needs of public safety; free to attend, unsponsored, and featuring only vetted technology that meets the high standards required of the industry. A Protector Award is given at the conclusion of every event. Attend an event nearest you to help recognize the winners and hear their stories live.

Event date and location
  • June 27, Chicago, IL ResponderXLive in partnership with Darley
  • July 25, Washington, DC 5G First Responder Lab powered by Verizon
  • September 12, Boston, MA ResponderXLive in partnership with AWS
  • September 19, Washington, DC 5G First Responder Lab powered by Verizon
  • October 17, Washington, DC ResponderXLive in partnership with IFAFRI
  • November 19, Perry, GA #OCR19 powered by Verizon & Nokia
  • January 29, San Francisco, CA 5G First Responder Lab powered by Verizon

Nominate a

The Protector Award identifies first responders who leverage technology and innovation to go above and beyond to keep our communities safe

Please submit a form if you or you know of a first responder that deserves recognition for their commitment and sacrifice.

All members of the Protector community agree to follow a clear code of conduct.

Nominate a Protector

Nominees must:

Be an active or retired first responderWho embraces technology and innovation to help keep our communities safe
About you
Nominating Self
About Nominee
Why This Person