Police, civilians honored for outstanding work in Northeast Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- They gathered Wednesday afternoon in Northeast Philadelphia to recognize police officers and civilians for outstanding work in the line of duty.

The ceremony was held in the appropriately named Heroes Ballroom at the Fraternal Order Police Lodge with the family and friends of the Command officers, and the rank and file.

It is held periodically throughout the year and honors those on the force who have made outstanding arrests while performing their duties. Today's ceremony also honored civilians for their valuable contributions both on and off duty.

Philadelphia Commissioner Richard Ross said, "Everything from dispatchers who are calmly talking people through some volatile incidents to police officers who are recovering as much as 14 million dollars of illegal narcotics. And just I don't want to call it normal but sometimes to us it's just routine acts of bravery."

Many had family members on hand to hear how they went above and beyond.

"When they're leaving out at night, on holidays, and birthdays, they're going out and doing some fantastic work on behalf of the citizens of this great city," said Commissioner Ross.

A very proud Chuck Meissler, a retired police detective, came to see his son and daughter receive merit awards.

Nicole, a dispatcher, collected items for 911 dispatchers in Puerto Rico and Texas.

Brian helped nab a suspected child predator.

Police Dispatcher Nicole Kemmerer said, "It's nice. It doesn't happen very often in police radio so it's good that they get to acknowledge us."

Special Victims' Unit Retired Detective Chuck Meissler said, "I did 33 years in the police department. I worked through narcotics. I know what they go through. I know what their families go through and it's a great sacrifice."

"I know he's proud so it makes everything better for us," he added.

In a few weeks, officers and civilians will be honored for bravery and life-saving acts. In all more than 70, Philadelphia police officers and civilians received commendations today.

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