PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Big honors were handed out for officers and neighbors who serve the City of Philadelphia in the Roxborough section of the city. The Fraternal Order of Police held its awards ceremony on Thursday night.
A retired detective worked to find out who was responsible for the free upkeep of the fallen officer’s memorial and that couple was among the men and women in blue honored on Thursday.
Ken and Joan Renshaw didn’t take an oath to protect and serve the City of Philadelphia, but for the past decade, they decided to honor a man who died in the line of duty.
“We try to keep it looking nice for the officer,” Joan Renshaw said. “He was a young guy. He was only on the force for six months when he died.”
Officer Joseph Friel was killed back in 1994 after his patrol car was hit by a drunk-driver on Ridge Avenue near Acorn Street.
A memorial was built near the crash site and when it started to lack attention, the Renshaws stepped in to help.
“Was looking a little shabby so I just started taking care of it,” Ken Renshaw said. “Cutting the grass, cleaning it up. Joan got involved with me a little while later.”
The Renshaws were among many being honored by the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police at its annual awards ceremony, and while it’s an honor to be recognized for their service, the couple says it’s the least they could do for a man who gave his life protecting Philly.
“Just trying to be good people, that’s all,” Joan Renshaw said.
The couple just met Friel’s family back in December and they’re hoping to stay in touch with his family.