Honoring the Delaware Valley's top police and firefighters

May 21, 2013 2:55:59 PM PDT
It happens every year. The Citizens Crime Commission of the Delaware Valley honors crime fighters for going above and beyond to keep the rest of us safe.

Action News' Rob Jennings emceed the event , honoring 26 police officers and firefighters with awards for heroism.

Six of the honorees were awarded the Presidential Award posthumously for making the ultimate sacrifice.

Many on the stage Tuesday saved lives. Several were shot at while apprehending armed gunmen.

"Even though I've been in the business more than 40 years, I'm still amazed at the things police officers and firefighters do on a daily basis," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

This year, for the first time ever, the Citizens Crime Commission awarded its Presidential Award to a civilian.

"I'm very proud," said Debbie Burgos, "very proud. I'm overwhelmed."

Debbie accepted the award for her son, 6-year-old Dominick Andujar of Camden, N.J.

Dominick fought off an intruder who was stabbing and assaulting his sister. He saved his sister and paid for it with his own life.

"He acted what most men won't do," said Debbie. "He did what most men won't do."

And that what it was Tuesday in Center City Philadelphia: a room full of men and women who do what most won't, a reminder of just how dangerous their jobs really are and of the bravery of these men and women who choose to wear the uniform.

"I'll still continue to do it every day and enjoy doing it," said Philadelphia Police Officer Dominic Mathis.

"We don't think to do the job because we think we're going to be rewarded. We do the job because we love it," said Philadelphia Police Officer Jeremias Olivo.

"It's an honor that people remember what all of us in uniform do every day," said Gloucester Township Police Sergeant Kevin Thyne.