BOSTON, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today honored 37 Massachusetts law enforcement officials at the 27th Annual Hanna Awards Ceremony at the State House. Police officers received the Trooper George L. Hanna Jr. Memorial Awards for Bravery for demonstrating actions above and beyond the call of duty across the Commonwealth.

“I want to thank each of the men and women being honored today for their service in protecting the residents of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “Every day, they put themselves in harm’s way to ensure our safety – that alone deserves our deep appreciation.”

Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray addressed the 32 local police and five state troopers being honored for their heroic actions in the House Chamber of the State House. The officers were recognized for their bravery in 10 separate incidents, including apprehending armed suspects, pulling a distraught man off a building ledge and entering a building to serve an arrest warrant while taking fire from an accused drug dealer. The honorees were surrounded by their family members, friends, and colleagues and the ceremony was led by master of ceremonies Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan.

“Massachusetts respects the many brave police officers and state troopers who put themselves in harm’s way each and every day,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “The Hanna Awards provides an opportunity to honor those public servants who have made extraordinary sacrifices for the protection, safety, and greater good of our Commonwealth.”

“Each recipient deserves more than a medal to commemorate the courageous acts they perform in the course of duty every day,” said Secretary Heffernan. “But know that when we present these symbols of our esteemed appreciation, it comes with the full weight of the Commonwealth for what these men and women have done and what they will do to protect and serve our citizens.”

The Hanna Award is named after Massachusetts State Trooper George L. Hanna Jr. On February 26, 1983, Officer Hanna was killed after stopping a car in the town of Auburn. He had dedicated ten years of service to the Commonwealth before his untimely death. Officer Hanna left behind a wife, Marilyn, and three children, Deborah, Kimberly and Michael. The Hanna Award honors his legacy and has become a symbol of prestige within the law enforcement community and across the Commonwealth.

This year’s award winners are:

Meritorious Recognition:
Boston Police Department: Officer Richard Fitzpatrick, Officer Dean Bickerton, Officer John Conway, Officer Kenneth Reid, Officer Patrick Byrne, Officer Anthony Cutone, Officer Stephen Crimmins, Officer Joseph Gorman.
Brockton Police Department: Officer Antonio Randolph, Officer Stanley David, Officer Michael Bunker, Officer Kevin Amaral, Officer Scott Besarick, Officer Robert Grayson, Officer Jennifer Polynice, Officer Anthony Giardini, Detective Michael Schaaf, Detective John Lonergan.
Massachusetts State Police: Trooper Robert Fries.

Medal of Valor:
Boston Police Department: Officer Brian Mahoney, Officer Benjamin Miller.
Brockton Police Department: Officer William Devine, Officer James Cronshaw.
New Bedford Police Department: Sergeant Paul Demers, Detective Shane Reul.
Massachusetts State Police: Detective Lieutenant Stephen O’Reilly.

Medal of Honor:
Boston Police Department: Officer Patrick Champagnie.
Framingham Police Department: Officer Phillip Hurton.
Milton Police Department: Officer Eric Choi, Officer Brendan Douglas, Officer Joseph Fahey, Officer Valter Pires.
Westminster Police Department: Sergeant Edward Robbins, Detective Ralph Leblanc.
Massachusetts State Police: Trooper Walter Baiardi, Trooper Scott McDonald, Trooper Michael Ofcarcik.