By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Class #365 of the Philadelphia Police Department was sworn in today, and with it a 26-year-old rookie officer walking in the footsteps of family and heroes.

READ MORE: Detours Along Kelly Drive Through Sunday For Stotesbury, Manny Flick Regattas

Officer Gregory Kravitz, now on patrol and walking a beat in Philadelphia, proudly wears badge number 3722.  It has been in his family for decades.

It’s the badge his uncle, Gennaro Pelligrini Sr., and his cousin, Gennaro Pelligrini Jr., wore until the younger Pelligrini left the force to serve his country overseas.

“Gerry Pelligrini died in 2005 in Iraq, fighting for his country,” said police commissioner Charles Ramsey today at graduation ceremonies on the Temple University campus.   “Officer Kravitz asked for that badge.  We took it out of retirement and issued it to him, and today he is wearing the badge of his cousin, a true hero in this city and in this department (applause).”

READ MORE: 5 People Shot Near Temple University, Philadelphia Police Say

Kravitz, a teen in high school at the time, was already thinking of following his own father and the Pelligrinis into police work.

So it’s in the family blood, but Kravitz says the death of his cousin tipped the scale for him, and he was determined to get that badge, number 3722 — a hero’s badge.

See related blog entry

MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro Charges 2 Bucks County Care Home Managers For Failing To Report Sexual Abuse