PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Chinatown community is planning to come together to pray for a Philadelphia police officer who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident.
Officer Andy Chan is known to be devoted to Holy Redeemer Catholic at 9th and Vine Streets, so the congregation is planning to come pray during Sunday mass for him. Until then, many people in Chinatown who know him are hoping for a speedy recovery.
Chan once described his career in law enforcement on WPHT Talk Radio, a career so many have watched him move through.
“You knew that Andy Chan wanted to be a police officer when he was a little boy,” said childhood friend John Chin.
The two grew up six doors apart in Chinatown. Chin says when the two were little, a beat cop in the neighborhood became a big influence to Chan to get involved into law enforcement.
Chan, however, has done more than protect and serve. He also helped form the Asian American Police Officer Association and friends say he keeps an eye on Chinese takeout restaurants throughout the city, helping bridge a divide due to language barriers.
“He is a gentle, understanding and patient person,” said Chin. “He always wants to help.”
Those in the force point out Chan is also involved in the Hero Thrill Show, an organization that pays the college tuition for the children of Philadelphia police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
“Andy Chan is the most well-loved police officer in the Philadelphia Police Department,” said Deputy Chief James Binna, the president of the Hero Thrill Show. “There’s 6,500 of them.”
Chan’s friends say his wife and son are with him at the hospital and praying that he will make a full recovery.