Jim Crawford founded the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association in 1974.  He recognized that more needed to be done to recognize peace officers who gave their lives in the line of duty and to recognize and support the families they left behind.  For almost 50 years, Jim has given unwavering service to MN LEMA and all those involved with it.  His ongoing vision, continual guidance, seemingly unending energy, and captivating passion has served as the backbone and foundation that has made LEMA all that it is today.  Because of his leadership, guidance, and commitment to this mission, LEMA has supported over 200 law enforcement funerals.  Jim has given countless hours of his personal time, energy, and resources to make MN LEMA a model recognized across the country.  He spearheaded the construction of the first Minnesota Peace Officer Memorial, and later assisted in getting it moved to its current location.  He lobbied the state for countless measures to support survivors.

Beginning with the inaugural presentation of the award to Jim in 2022, the Jim Crawford Founders Award will be presented annually in recognition of an individual who has followed Jim’s example of selfless sacrifice and passion for MN LEMA.  As an ongoing tribute to Jim, this elite award will be presented to an individual who has made a positive, indelible impact on the success of the organization in fulfilling our mission of honoring our fallen officers and supporting their survivors.