Governor honors law enforcement, first responders during Portage stop
BY JOHN ROBBINS Post-Tribune correspondent February 7, 2014 4:26PM
Gov. Mike Pence works the crowd at a Portage fire station Friday morning. | John Robbins/For the Post-Tribune
Updated: March 9, 2014 6:18AM
PORTAGE — Gov. Mike Pence began a three-stop tour through northern Indiana on Friday at Fire Station No. 1 in Portage.
About 120 people gathered to hear Pence honor local emergency responders and public safety professionals for their “relentless persistence and perseverance” and willingness to “respond to danger in your community with professionalism and courage.”
Among the groups present were fire and police departments from across Northwest Indiana, county law enforcement and emergency response personnel, Indiana National Guard and NIPSCO.
“It’s not just about Portage or Porter County. This is a celebration of public safety that spans the region,” Pence said.
He recalled “the frightening images of the tragic accident on Interstate 94 that captured the nation,” and thanked local leaders for working together to help those involved.
Pence marked the occasion by handing out the first-ever Governor’s Public Safety Award to myriad groups at the ceremony.
“We’re here to pay a debt of gratitude to the public safety community,” Pence said. “The people of Indiana are in your debt.”
Portage police officer Rich Schmitt and police dog Chuckie were cited for a recent apprehension of a shoplifter and LaPorte County deputy patrolman Slawek Czupryna received special notice for catching a Michigan prison escapee.