Officers honored at Crime Commission luncheon

May 20, 2008 3:43:46 PM PDT
Today was a special afternoon to honor police officers for their outstanding service and for their sacrifice. It was the 27th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Luncheon. More the 600 people came to honor dozens of law enforcers for their unquestionable devotion to duty. It was Action News anchor Rob Jennings 18th year as Master of Ceremony.

Highway Patrol Officers Joseph Luce and Andy Chan received heroism awards for rescuing a senior citizen from a burning house. University of Pennsylvania Officer John Dichicco was honored for his actions during a gun battle inside a West Philadelphia club. Officers Mark Moore and Richard Riddick were recognized for their diligent and aggressive police work.

An award for Valor went to Glenolden Officer Matthew Illich, and to Officer Richard DeCoatsworth who suffered a shotgun blast to the face. DeCoatsworth was honored after facing his attacker in court.

Decoatsworth said, "So that was a pretty dark moment. And for me to come right over here, and to be honored with this reward amongst such great people, it brings light to my day."

Mayor Nutter reminded the audience that it's a special person who's willing to risk his life to make all of us safe. "Walk up and say thank you to them for doing the job that most of us would not do, could not do, or wouldn't think to do," said the mayor.

The crime fighters were not all cops. Marsha Moore received a civilian Award of Merit for fighting violence in her neighborhood.

For the first time a Correctional Officer of the Year Award was presented to Officer Eletta Harris-Addison.

The afternoon ended with the President's Award bestowed on the widow and family of Officer Chuck Cassidy, who was killed in the line of duty last year:

A moment of silence was observed during today's luncheon for Sgt. Steven Liczbenski, who was shot and killed while pursuing a robbery suspect on May 3rd. Of course he will be recognized as a 2008 honoree at next year's appreciation luncheon for his outstanding service and sacrifice.