Northeast Times

Still time to sign up for annual Badges of Honor Run

The third an­nu­al Badges of Hon­or 5k Run will take place on Sat­urday morn­ing near Me­mori­al Hall in Fair­mount Park.

About 1,000 people are ex­pec­ted to par­ti­cip­ate in the event, which raises money for the sur­viv­ors and wid­ows funds of Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5, In­ter­na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Fire Fight­ers Loc­al 22 and AF­SCME Loc­al 159, which rep­res­ents pris­on cor­rec­tion­al of­ficers.

The cost is $27.50 for those who re­gister in ad­vance at www.badgesof­hon­or5k.com

Re­gis­tra­tion on the day of the event starts at 7 a.m. The cost for on-site re­gis­trants is $35, pay­able in cash.

May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter will kick off the run at 9 a.m. A Her­oes Soft­ball Tour­na­ment has been ad­ded to the fest­iv­it­ies.

Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Charles Ram­sey cred­ited Fox 29 met­eor­o­lo­gist John Bolar­is with cre­at­ing the fun­draiser. He saw the event grow last year, when more than $30,000 was raised, and ex­pects an­oth­er big crowd on Sat­urday.

The money is needed, the com­mis­sion­er said, be­cause of the deaths of sev­en of­ficers in the line of duty in a peri­od of less than three years from 2006-09.

For in­stance, Holmes­burg res­id­ent Jazmin Naz­ario will be a fresh­man at Chest­nut Hill Col­lege in the fall.

Her moth­er, Isa­bel, was killed in Septem­ber 2008 when her patrol car was hit by a stolen, speed­ing Ca­dillac in West Phil­adelphia. The 16-year-old driver, who fled the scene, was ar­res­ted for the crime and later pleaded guilty, and was sen­tenced to 10 to 20 years in pris­on.

“It’s for a worthy cause,” Ram­sey said. “Many of the of­ficers left be­hind chil­dren, and the fam­il­ies have on­go­ing ex­penses. We have an ob­lig­a­tion to take care of their fam­il­ies.”

Louis Giorla, com­mis­sion­er of the Phil­adelphia Pris­on Sys­tem, said the rash of po­lice deaths had a sober­ing im­pact on the en­tire city. Giorla noted that loc­al pris­ons have been for­tu­nate that no cor­rec­tion­al of­ficers have been killed since 1973.

That’s when Warden Patrick N. Cur­ran and Deputy Warden Robert From­hold Sr. were stabbed to death at Holmes­burg Pris­on by Black Lib­er­a­tion Army mem­bers Joseph “Jo Jo” Bowen and Fred Muhammad Bur­ton, who were un­happy be­cause of al­leged re­li­gious per­se­cu­tion of Muslim pris­on­ers.

Giorla said the stat­ist­ics across the coun­try show a re­l­at­ively low num­ber of deaths among cor­rec­tion­al of­ficers.

“I’m glad to say that deaths in the line of duty are few and far between, but one is too many,” he said.

The pris­ons com­mis­sion­er, who walks the course, en­joys the day be­cause he gets to see staff mem­bers and their fam­il­ies and oth­er old friends.

The pris­on sys­tem team is look­ing for a bet­ter over­all fin­ish in the 5k stand­ings, hav­ing fin­ished be­hind the po­lice de­part­ment the last two years.

“Com­mis­sion­er Ram­sey is quick to let us know about that,” Giorla joked. “It would be nice to have the trophy.” ••

Dona­tions can be sent to Fund for Phil­adelphia/BOH 5k, City Hall, Room 203, Phil­adelphia, PA 19107, At­tn: Erica At­wood.

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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