Police District Advisory Council Celebrates Local Cops, Raises Funds for 26th District
The goal of every police force in every American city is to find a balance between maintaining the safety of the public and engaging the community in a positive manner, with the intent to foster a positive experience between officers and citizens. Unfortunately, finding this balance is often hard and requires police officers to make split-second life-or-death choices that have far-reaching consequences. Building a three-way partnership between the community, police and the District Attorney’s Office is the best way to foster open dialogue and address specific community issues with the people they affect.
In Philadelphia, the Police District Advisory Council (PDAC) has been working as a bridge between law enforcement, business owners and the community for more than 25 years. Nearly all of the police districts in Philadelphia have a PDAC program that works specifically within their district.
Last week, the 26th District PDAC threw an awards banquet and fundraiser to honor outstanding citizens and officers who have performed above the call of duty. This was the second year that the event was held inside the SugarHouse Event Center.
The event is the only way that the PDAC gets funds to support their district throughout the year. The PDAC uses funds they acquire through ticket sales for the event to assist families of fallen officers in the 26th. They also hold parties and events for needy and at-risk children in the community.
The night is special for the officers because they are awarded for outstanding service and are given a chance to mingle and catch up with old friends on the force and in the neighborhood. Spirit News spoke to Sgt. John Massi of the 26th District and he told us why this event is so important to him and his officers.
“We’d like to thank all those in attendance and the continued support from our various stakeholders,” Massi said. “With an increasingly negative portrayal of law enforcement throughout the country, our banquet is an opportunity to recognize our officers and community members together in a positive way.”
The event featured special guests, including Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who delivered a few remarks to those in attendance.
“Thank you for what you do for this city each and every day,” Ross said. “From the bottom of my heart, you really make us proud. You make me proud to wear this uniform.”
The award ceremony began with awards for outstanding members of the community. The Small Business Support Award went to Morhaf and Kathleen of Quick Stop. Kawa Trading, Inc. received the Corporate Support Award. The Sister Carol Keck Community Leadership Award was given to SCG Barbara Redman. The Benjamin Moody 26th PDAC Award was given to community leader Pablo Mateo.
Other awards were distributed to members of the 26th Police District for outstanding service and positive interaction in the 26th District. The Stephen Sauka Award was given to retired P/O Rita Devlin for her 24 years of service. The Michelle Winkis Award was presented to P/O Doreen Napper. The Wallace Chapman Award was presented to Cpl. Erica Montanez. The Daniel Boyle Award, which highlights a strong commitment to the community, went to P/O John McBride. The Leadership Award was presented to Lt. John McDonald. Finally, the Gennaro Pelligrini Award for officer of the year was given to P/O Jason Seigafuse.