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Obama honors 25 Mass. police officers in White House ceremony

President Obama awarded 25 Massachusetts police officers the “Top Cop Award” for their bravery and dedication during a brief ceremony at the White House this morning.

“In Boston, our entire country saw once again the strong stuff that these men and women in uniform are made of,” said Obama referencing the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing in prepared remarks.

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Seventeen Boston police officers, seven Watertown police officers, and one Massachusetts State Police trooper were honored at today’s ceremony. Each year, officers from across the country are nominated by their peers for this award and the National Association of Police Organizations picks the top nominees, according to the organization’s website.

This year, Massachusetts officers received the most nominations, largely for work during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Rachel McGuire, a Boston police spokeswoman, said the department was very excited.

“We are incredibly proud to have so many officers honored,” said McGuire in a telephone interview. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Obama said he was impressed with the collaboration between police departments during the 2013 tragedy.

“Law enforcement from different agencies and different parts of the country working together as one united team to identify suspects and bring them to justice and in a moment that few of us will ever forget, the citizens of Watertown, Massachusetts, lining their streets to cheer on and high-five and hug the officers as they headed home after a job well done,” Obama said in prepared statements.

Officers Omar Borges, Gregory R. Eunis, Jarrod Gero, Jean Gerard JeanLouis, Terence Long, Gregory McCormick, Richard G. Moriarty, John Moynihan, John M. Noberini, Jason A. Nuñez, Scott Pulchansingh, Walter J. Suprey, and Detectives Kenneth M. Conley, Joseph G. Scaringello, and Sergeant Detective Kevin E. Waggett from the Boston Police Department traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive the award.

Massachusetts State Trooper Christopher J. Dumont was also honored, along with Officers Miguel A. Colon, Jr., Michael W. Comick, Timothy B. Menton, Joseph Reynolds, Jean S. Sarkissian, and Sergeants John C.P. MacLellan and Jeffrey J. Pugliese.

Officer Dennis Simmonds, a Boston police officer who died after a medical emergency at the Boston police academy in Hyde Park in April, also received the award. His family accepted it on his behalf, said McGuire.

“We don’t always get that opportunity to stand and applaud the men and women who keep us safe. But they’re out there, hundreds of thousands of you, patrolling our streets every single day,” said Obama. “And we know that when we need you most, you’ll be ready to dash into danger, to protect our lives even if it means putting your lives on the line.”

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at Follow her on twitter @jacktemp
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