PORTAGE | It was a moment to pause and reflect, to honor those who lost their lives while serving their fellow man and to recognize those who continue to serve.
"It is an honor to stand before you," Portage Police Chief Troy Williams told a crowd gathered at the Portage Public Safety Memorial at Gilbert Park on Monday during the department's annual police memorial service.
Williams said 163 police officers died in the line of duty last year in the United States. While numbers are down so far this year, an officer looses his life in the line of duty every 53 hours.
It was also a time for Williams and Mayor James Snyder to renew their pledges to fight crime in Portage.
Both talked about efforts since Snyder took office in January to curtail crime in the city.
"We are not going to stop. We are going to find it and keep Portage safe," Snyder said.
Williams said seven SWAT raids have occurred resulting in 17 arrests and the confiscation of guns, drugs and cash.
While no Portage police officer has lost their life in the line of duty, Williams read off a list of sworn and reserve officers and dispatchers who have died.
Snyder also swore in new reserve police officers including Cara Reeder, Randy Wilkening, Melissa Ames, David Hill, Kathryn Crook, Nicholas Vanni and Mark Pattermann.
Sgt. Mark Monks, a 19-year veteran, was recognized as Portage Officer of the Year; Master Patrolman Roger Peele was recognized as 2011 Drug Officer of the Year and resident Jacob Fadrill was recognized with the Tracy L. Hall award for assisting in a water rescue last year. Sgt. Larry Jolley was also recognized for his 12 years spent as the department's assistant police chief.