WORCESTER (CBS) — Twelve police officers across Massachusetts were honored in Worcester on Thursday with the George L. Hanna Memorial Award for Bravery. The honor is named after state trooper George Hanna, who was killed during a traffic stop in Auburn in 1983.

The honor is said to be the highest medal a Massachusetts law enforcement officer can receive.

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Hanna’s two daughters, Deborah and Kimberly, were at the ceremony on Thursday at Mechanics Hall. Alongside Gov. Charlie Baker, they presented each award to the winners.

Here were the 12 officers who were honored, along with the police departments they work for:

  • Massachusetts State Police: Troopers Peter Towle, Stephen Torosian, Michael Palmer, and John Lennon
  • Westboro Police: Sergeant Jonathan Kalagher
  • Boston Police: Officers William Hull and Officer Mark Whalen
  • Pepperell Police: Sergeant Nick Parker and Officer Justin Zink
  • The Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council: Sergeant Christopher Baker, and Officers David Schepis and Stephen Wallace Jr.

Baker spoke during the ceremony, congratulating the winners and expressing his gratitude for the work they do.

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“I am enormously grateful, as a public official who spends a lot of time with our colleagues in law enforcement, to be able to stand here today and say how much I appreciate, we appreciate, our friends and our neighbors appreciate, what you do every single day here in the Commonwealth,” the Governor said.

Family members of fallen Worcester Police Officer Manny Familia were also at the ceremony. Familia died over the summer while trying to save a young boy from drowning.

This year’s awards ceremony combined recipients from 2019 and 2020.

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There have now been 142 recipients of the Hanna Award since it was created in 1983.

CBSBoston.com Staff