PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The National Liberty Museum will celebrate a group of exceptional police officers and firefighters from the greater Philadelphia area.
“It’s the first time I’m receiving something for doing these, so it’s cool,” says Officer Jonathan Castro.
He is a nine-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department who, for the past 18 months, has worked as the forensic artist painting sketches of suspects.
But last year, when he painted a digital portrait of the late Sgt. Robert Wilson III, who was killed in the line of duty, he started a trend.
“From there I decided to keep doing it and just pick officers as it happens and paint portraits and just ship it out,” he says.
Castro completed portraits for 115 fallen police, firefighter, and military officers from around the world, including two K9 officers.
He then packs them up and ships them out to the officer’s family free of charge.
“A lot of times you hear about it on the news- and then a quick blip and its gone and you don’t hear about it anymore,” says Castro, “so they love it, sometimes they send me a letter.”
Castro is one of 14 honorees who will get the Award of Valor for their work in the line of duty and community.
The 12th annual Awards of Valor ceremony takes place at the National Liberty Museum at 7pm Tuesday night. The museum is located at 321 Chestnut Street.