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PORTAGE — Current police officers were praised and past officers were remembered at the Portage Police Department's Memorial and Inspection service Monday afternoon.

Officers, residents and city officials paid homage to the city's law enforcement officers at Founder's Square. The annual observance started in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy designated it, and the week in which it falls as Police Week.

“Thank you to those in attendance. Your presence here today shows us that you care about police,” said Chief of Police Troy Williams. “Also, thank you to the men and women of our armed forces. They, too, deserve our acknowledgment and appreciation.”

Current officers' hard work was frequently praised and awarded during the ceremony.

Williams recognized 17 officers for their efforts in saving the lives of Portage residents by administering Narcan, a drug that prevents overdosing on opiates.

“We, like many other departments, feel the use of Narcan from a potential overdose death is deserving of a life saving award,” he said. “Don't be mistaken. This happens in every community. We were one of the first departments to bring Narcan into the Region.”

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Officer Scott Brown was named officer of the year for his proactive service throughout 2018.

“Officer Brown's commitment and determination is a shining example for his fellow officers,” Williams said.

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Officer Steve McGraw was also recognized for his help in designing a new reconfigurable police training building at the MAAC, which is slated to finish later this year.

“He donated much of his personal time to this project and his efforts were lauded by several officials,” he said.

The department's sergeants and corporals were promoted during the ceremony as well.

“Our officers are doing great things. Some of it the public sees and some they don't. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to serve,” Williams said.

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