WESTPORT — Friends, family and the community got an opportunity to show its appreciation for its men and women in blue last week with the inaugural Westport Police Department Service Awards Ceremony at Town Hall.

“It’s a very special occasion,” Chief Foti Koskinas said.

He and other officials bestowed honors and awards on some two dozen members of the force, including Cpl. Kevin Smith, who was named Officer of the Year.

“As far as I know, this is the first organized awards ceremony,” said Koskinas, who has been with the department 25 years.

A wide range of successes and services were highlighted — from various life-saving efforts, investigative work, acts of bravery and acts of kinds and community care.

“Most of what these officers do will never be recognized,” Koskinas said, recounting a range of behind-the-scenes examples of how they help and serve people, and noting the immensity of what they sometimes must experience in their jobs.

“Their eyes will see things throughout their career that no one should ever see,” he said.

First Selectman Jim Marpe said he was “proud and honored to be part” of the ceremony.

“What a proud moment this is for you, I hope, for your families and friends,” he told the award recipients, “and what a proud moment this is for Westport celebrating your accomplishments.”