During a Rose Garden ceremony, Obama paid homage to the officers who, he said, risked their lives to save countless others.
"The men and women here today have jumped into cars to rescue victims held at knifepoint. They have pulled trapped children from burning cars seconds before it was engulfed in flames," Obama said.
"They weren't thinking about medals or commendations. I'm pretty sure they weren't thinking about being honored at the White House. Instead, they were focused on their partners, the face of a child who was in harm's way, a victim, the innocent bystander who desperately needed their help," he said.
Officers on the federal, state and local level from nine states received the award, which was launched in 1994 by the National Association of Police Organizations. Recipients are nominated by fellow law enforcement agents for going beyond the call of duty to save lives.
Among this year's recipients, Sgt. Kimberly Munley and Sgt. Mark Todd of the Fort Hood Police Department were honored for their actions in September, when someone opened fire at a base readiness center, killing 12. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is accused in the shootings.
The winners are flown to Washington for the awards ceremony.
Updated; 12:42 p.m.