Police officers honored for heroism in Northeast Philadelphia

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Police officers honored for heroism in NE Philadelphia. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on May 9, 2018. (WPVI)

One of the major issues of our time is how some see a distinct lack of trust between police and many of the communities they serve.

But it makes us Philly proud to witness the kind of event we did Wednesday where it was all about praising Philadelphia police as heroes.

Philadelphia Officer Melanie Dailey and her partner of ten years, Officer William Phillips, jumped into action back in January when they received a call about an unconscious man on an American airlines flight who wasn't breathing.

Both performed chest compressions until they found a pulse and saved the man's life.

"Nothing ever prepares you because it's always different, you're always in shock, you're sweating you're nervous," said Officer Phillips.

Officers Phillips and Dailey are just two of dozens being honored by Philadelphia police during its biannual commendation ceremony.

The honorees received medals in one of three categories - bravery, heroism for placing their lives in danger and a lifesaving award.

"I think about how lucky we are as a community to have officers that really care about their community and they're doing what they've been trained to do," Inspector Naish said.

Each story read today was both heart gripping and inspiring. Like the one involving Officers Joseph Francesco and Lowell Pindle who literally caught a distraught 17-year-old boy who wanted to end his life by jumping in front of a train.

Philadelphia Police Officer Joseph Francesco said, "A radio call came out for a disturbance on the subway tracks and we were met by the young man."

"He gets up tries to run for the train and we tried grabbing and tackling him so that he wouldn't jump in front of the train," adds Officer Pindle.

Among the most heartwarming moments, today was one between veteran Officer Paul Perez and the man whose life he saved.

Officer Perez found Dick Donovan lying unconscious on the ground while He and his wife were out on a walk.
Officer Perez quickly performed lifesaving measures until medics arrived. Born out of those terrifying moments is now a beautiful friendship and a profound bond.

We asked Donovan, what is it that you see when you look at him. "A hero. Thank you, sir, appreciate it," he said.

These officers tell me they'd rather not be put in the spotlight but this is an honor and a salute they will carry with them as they head back out into the communities they serve.

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