PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A plaque was unveiled at a ceremony Wednesday, celebrating the life of a fallen Philadelphia police officer. Walter DeWitt III died in June 2015 after complications from an injury he suffered on duty.
Dozens of Philadelphia cops surrounded the plaque on the grounds of the Firearms Training Center at the Police Academy on the 8500 block of State Road. Commissioner Richard Ross says Officer DeWitt, a 33-year veteran, was well-liked among his peers and beloved by his family.
“I did know Walt. He had dedicated so many years of service to this city and this department,” Ross said. “We’re forever grateful.”
Ross says DeWitt was a stand-up guy who loved his family as much as anyone could.
“For us, it’s nice to be able to show his family that we’re always going to be here for them,” the commissioner said. “That’s important for us, to be able to convey that message.”
Walter DeWitt IV broke down in tears when sharing memories of his father.
“Being here at his place of work, his last place of work, being able to see the plaque put down there — it’s a great honor,” he said.
DeWitt says his dad was his best friend, and life without him is tough, but it feels good to know the memory will never die.
“Whether it be recruits or NPO, guys that are already in the force, they’ll still see that my father is still here and will always watch over them,” he said.
DeWitt says going shooting with his dad at the gun range was one of his favorite things to do.