Sign of remembrance

Michelle Liczb­in­ski re­cently un­veiled two street signs that hon­or her hus­band, a Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment ser­geant shot to death in 2008.

Dur­ing an Oct. 17 ce­re­mony, Liczb­in­ski pulled the cov­er­ing off a green and white sign on Cottman Av­en­ue at Al­gon Av­en­ue that reads, “Po­lice Ser­geant Steph­en Liczb­in­ski Me­mori­al High­way.”

“I am very proud and honored to see that sign,” she said.

Liczb­in­ski was then es­cor­ted west on Cottman Av­en­ue to de­but a sim­il­ar sign at Cent­ral Av­en­ue, near the city bor­der with Mont­gomery County.

That stretch of Cottman Av­en­ue, from Al­gon Av­en­ue to Cent­ral Av­en­ue, runs through the heart of Burholme, where Liczb­in­ski lived.

Former state Rep. George Ken­ney sponsored a res­ol­u­tion, passed by the Pennsylvania House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives and Sen­ate, that me­mori­al­izes the po­lice ser­geant, who lived on Clar­idge Street.

“I wanted to make sure that nobody for­got the sac­ri­fice Steph­en Liczb­in­ski made for all of us,” he said.

Nick Mar­tino, a PennDOT ex­ec­ut­ive, presen­ted Mrs. Liczb­in­ski, who now lives in Lang­horne, with a sign of her own.

“It’s amaz­ing. I’m really happy that it’s fi­nally done,” she said.

Joe Cella, chap­lain for Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5, blessed the sign.

May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter, who re­called get­ting the chilling call of Liczb­in­ski’s shoot­ing on a Sat­urday af­ter­noon in May 2008, was among those who paid homage to his ser­vice.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz presen­ted Mrs. Liczb­in­ski with a copy of the Con­gres­sion­al Re­cord that con­tains her pre­vi­ous re­marks on the House floor about the ser­geant’s sac­ri­fice.

Oth­ers in at­tend­ance in­cluded City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams, Deputy Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Richard Ross and FOP Lodge 5 re­cord­ing sec­ret­ary Bob Bal­lentine.

Liczbin­si’s former col­leagues in the 24th Po­lice Dis­trict were in at­tend­ance, along with the car he was rid­ing in on the day he was murdered.

Two moun­ted unit of­ficers were on hand. One of the horses is named “Steve” in hon­or of the slain of­ficer.

Stu­dents from nearby North­east High School also watched the ce­re­mony.

Liczb­in­ski, a 12-year vet­er­an who spent much of his ca­reer in the 4th dis­trict in South Phil­adelphia, died May 3, 2008, just shy of his 40th birth­day. He was sur­vived by his wife and three chil­dren.

On the day of his murder, he was in his patrol car chas­ing three men who had robbed a Bank of Amer­ica branch in a Shop-Rite on Ara­mingo Av­en­ue in Port Rich­mond.

After the po­lice vehicle and the flee­ing car stopped, Howard Cain fatally shot Liczb­in­ski. Oth­er of­ficers later re­turned fire and killed Cain.

The oth­er sus­pects, Eric Floyd and Levon Warner, were ar­res­ted and con­victed in 2010 of first-de­gree murder. They were sen­tenced to life in pris­on. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­

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