Philadelphia police officers receive commendations for heroism

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Phila. police officers receive commendations for heroism. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on May 10, 2017. (WPVI)

Philadelphia police honored their own Wednesday with commendations for dozens of officers for their on-duty heroics in life saving, bravery and heroism.

It's done for esprit-de-corps and setting standards of conduct for policing the streets.

More than 100 officers were honored.

Officer Tom Ellis was working undercover narcotics when the suspect decided to open fire.

"Eventually ran out of bullets after about 12 shots at us. Nobody was hurt, nobody was injured. He then ran and we found him hiding with the gun," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

Lt. Mike Goodson was in his South Street command post when a frantic mother suddenly entered with her 11-month-old child not breathing.

"I immediately cleared the child's airway with the opportunity to begin resuscitating the child," said Lt. Goodson.

Goodson continued, "The emergency physician came back to us and said, If it had not been for our efforts and our ability to get the child to critical care in a quick manner, the child would not have survived."

Detective Jeff Opalski was a uniform patrolman last year when he had to shoot it out with a suspect.

"The male turned and faced me and my partner. He had a gun pointed in our direction, which forced us to protect ourselves, and we had to discharge our weapons," he said.

In all, more than 100 officers received commendations for their performances in areas of bravery and valor, life-saving techniques, and de-escalating confrontations that were potentially dangerous and tragic - all things cops do all the time.

These are challenges they cannot anticipate when they head to work every day to serve and protect.

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