By Paul Kurtz and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Citizens Crime Commission honored the bravest of the brave Wednesday during its 35th annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day luncheon.
Less than a week after receiving a national top cop award, Officer Damien Stevenson was one of four area officers to receive the Crime Commission’s Valor Award. Stevenson was the partner of Officer Robert Wilson III, who was killed in a shootout with two game store robbers last year.
Wilson, who had stopped to buy a gift for his young son, valiantly exchanged gunfire with 2 robbery suspects, fatally wounded as he saved the lives of 7 others in the store.
Today, as his sister Shakira Burroughs and grandmother Constance Wilson watched with tears in their eyes, there was a standing ovation for the murdered officer, as those attending the tribute watched a video of his life, with pictures of his family, friends and fellow officers.
His nephew, and namesake, 2-year-old Robert Wilson IV also watched, held safely in the arms of a police officer.
‘We should all take a moment just to recognize the work these men and women do just to make their respective jurisdictions safer,” said Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
A pair of civilians were also honored. Sisters Corrine and Erica Vile of South Philadelphia encountered a drunk driver with fresh damage to his vehicle.
“We took a picture of his license plate,” said Corrine, “and after he cut my sister off driving we called 911.”
They later learned that the drunk driver had struck and killed a pedestrian.
“It was the right thing to do,” Said Erica. “And we would hope that if anything would happen to one of our family members someone would call and help us out.”