Sherriff Downing Chosen for Ganley Memorial AwardMarch 20, 2015
by Jon Tripp
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem hosted a sold-out crowd for the 26th annual Chief John P. Ganley Memorial Award Luncheon on Tuesday, March 17. The Ganley Memorial Award is given to an individual “who has exhibited concern, involvement and leadership in the community of Salem, while providing inspiration to others through his or her dedication, integrity, and courage in the manner exemplified by Chief John P. Ganley during his life on earth.” This year’s recipient is Sherriff Michael Downing in recognition of his lifetime of public service as a veteran, police officer, politician, and his current role as sheriff of Rockingham County.
NH Governor Maggie Hassan gave the keynote speech and praised Downing saying he was “kind, dedicated, and strong. He sees the big picture and you couldn’t have a better friend. He epitomizes what it means to be a public servant.”
State Senator Chuck Morse congratulated Downing and highlighted his service to the Town of Salem. Representatives for Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen read letters from the senators congratulating Downing and thanking him for his service. State Senator Lou D’Allesandro read a senate resolution congratulating Downing.
Chief Ganley’s son, John P. Ganley, Jr., presented Downing with the award. During his acceptance, Downing talked about some of the accomplishments of which he was most proud. At one point, he became emotional talking about the eminent danger of drugs on the community and the loss of six of his son’s classmates to drugs within three years of their graduating high school.
The luncheon is a traditional boiled Irish dinner and features music by singer retired State Trooper Daniel Clark and the NH Police Association Pipes and Drum Band.