VALPARAISO — More than 100 police officers, command staff and coalition members gathered at the Porter County Substance Abuse Council’s annual breakfast recently to recognize law enforcement and community engagement.

Sheriff David Reynolds' opening remarks highlighted the dedication and commitment of the law enforcement community to keep the roadways free of drunken and impaired driving and crimes related to substance use disorder.

"There were 946 arrests and convictions from September 2016, to October 2017, thanks to a concerted effort by all the police officers in this room," Reynolds said.

"We are proud to recognize their unwavering efforts today by publicly honoring them for their outstanding contributions."

Porter County Sheriff’s Department Officer Michael Damjanovic and Indiana State Police Officer Andy Rasala shared top honors with the total of 42 DUI arrests each.

Other officers recognized were: Burns Harbor, Cpl. Tim Lucas (11) and Assistant Chief Jeremy McHargue (6); Chesterton, Officer Aaron Miersma (16); Hebron, Chief Joshua Noel (14), Cpl. Robert O’Dea (10) and Officer Adam Jaskowiak (10); Kouts, officers Adam Jaskowiak (12) and Dolores Mueller (6); Odgen Dunes, Troy Calabro (4); Portage, master patrolmen Steven McGraw (13) and Brian Graves (12); Porter, officers Kevin Rospierski (9) and Dan Dickey (5); Porter County Sheriff’s Department, Officer Dale Marshall (35) and Valparaiso Police Department, officers John Nuppnau (21) and Michelle Kodicek (19).

Officers were acknowledged with a certificate of appreciation. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris was recognized as the only known coroner in the state to personally deliver death notifications to families of the victims.

Council President and Drunk Driving Task Force Chairman Tim Beach was recognized with the Leadership Award from the council and the Award of Excellence as well. Council Executive Director Dawn Pelc was presented an Award of Excellence from Reynolds.

Other award recipients were: Megan Johnston, Coordinator Recovery Connection, who received the Breaking the Stigma Recovery Award; Reynolds, Community Matters – Law Enforcement Leadership; Harris, Awareness Matters – Prevention; Todd Willis, Awareness Matters – Treatment; Jenny Harkel – Lifetime Achievement; Chad Clifford, Front Porch Music – Community Matters - Partnership; and Master Patrolman (Portage Police Department) Robert Nichols and Sgt. Jamie Erow (Porter County Sheriff’s Department) Community Matters – Law Enforcement.

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