President Barack Obama is praising the nation's police officers for courage and for signing up, in his words, "to do some tough stuff."

President Barack Obama poses for a picture with the 2013 National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award winners during a ceremony honoring them at the White House (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Obama says the country saw what the police are made of last month, when many ran toward explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line not knowing what else they would face.

He also recalled citizens of Watertown, Mass., applauding police after they captured the second bombing suspect.

Obama said there are few opportunities to applaud the men and women who help keep the country safe, "but they're out there."

Among those honored were Wayne Police Department Captain Mark McGrath for his actions during Suprestorm Sandy that saved a fellow officer. The Patch of Wayne says after an oak tree fell on Officer Bob Franco’s car, McGrath crawled under live wires and wedged himself into a small space to get to Franco and Assistant Wayne Company 5 Fire Chief John Neukem.

“Capt. McGrath maintained composure under pressure by putting others’ lives before his own,” the statement announcing McGrath's honor read. “This is the stuff Top Cops are made of and Capt. McGrath has them all, in spades.”

Obama spoke at a White House ceremony honoring the 2013 National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award winners. The group includes officers from California, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, New York, Texas and Wisconsin.

The Associated Press contributed to this story