Honoring bravery and valor

May 19, 2009 4:04:20 PM PDT
An appreciation luncheon is held each year by the Citizens Crime Commission.

This year, Philadelphia Police Officer Richard Bowes was one of more than a dozen people honored at the event in Center City Philadelphia.

"Today we say thanks to police and civilians for outstanding acts of bravery, valor and heroism," said John Apeldorn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission.

"Anyone who's ever walked a beat or chased a suspect down a dark alley," said Crime Commission chairman Robert Moraca, "took a chance to stand between ruthlessness and innocence."

This year's Law Enforcement Appreciation Day lunch honored police who withstood death threats while battling drug gangs, who took down cop killers, and even cradled a dying officer in his arms.

This was the 19th year that Action News anchorman Rob Jennings served as host.

10- and 11-year Abington police veterans Robert Davis and Shawn Nisbet were given valor awards for placing themselves between an armed man and the ex-wife he intended to kill last December.

"It says thank you," said Nisbet. "It means a lot because you don't hear that often. It's so nice to get that pat on back."

In a shootout Davis was hit in the thigh, the gunman was killed, and the woman was saved.

"I'm glad she's there to raise her kids," said Davis. "I like to think what we did that night helped that happen."

It was a tearful time as families of fallen officers were given the presidential award. Officer Isabel Nazario, and Sergeants Timothy Simpson, Patrick McDonald and Steven Liczbinski were all killed in the line of duty during the last year.

"It means a lot for people to think of them," said Officer Nazario's sister, Meritza Mohamed. "Sometimes these officers who die in the line of duty are forgotten. For them to remember them is an honor to our family."

The officers honored for valor and bravery today said they were simply doing their job, to protect and serve. It's a job they will continue when they hit the streets again tomorrow.

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