Northwest community and officials honor Philadelphia peacekeepers

Homemade potato salad, burgers, hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob and apple cobbler were all on the menu for a cookout entitled “Peacekeepers Appreciation Day” on Saturday afternoon to honor Northwest officers.

The event was hosted on the grounds of Awbury Recreation Center, located at Haines and Ardleigh Streets, and put together by the Northwest Community Coalition for Youth (NCCY) and the United Block Captains Association of the 14th and 35th Police Districts.

“This is our 4th annual event,” said Isabella Fitzgerald, co-chair of NCCY. “So often, they’re in the community, but we don’t get to thank them and really honor them.”

Eric Hardaway, legislative assistant for State Rep. Dwight Evans, said the event was an effort of interested community members.

“We want to honor these folks that protect our families, our children,” said Hardaway. “We invited Northwest police officers, SEPTA transit police, school officers, probation and parole officers and crossing guards – all the people that help keep us safe.”

At the event, State Rep. Dwight Evans shook each officer’s hand saying “thank you for all that you do.”

“It’s important for the community to thank our police,” said Evans. “It’s a tough job and we should take the time to thank them.”

Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass was also there to thank the officers.

“We want to recognize people that give so much – they put their lives on the line – literally. They see and experience so much, and we want to say thanks,” said Bass.

Officers of the 14th District, Jeff Deacon and Patrick Balasa said the event represents a community that cares about its police force.

“Everyone is in good spirits today,” said Balasa, “it’s great that the community wants to show us this support.” “It’s very nice,” agreed Deacon.

Officer Brian Rosenbaum of the 35th District said the event “proves it’s not a thankless job.”

The event was free to officers and $10 for guests. All proceeds will be donated to the Fraternal Order of Police Hero Survivor Fund.

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