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 firstname.lastname@example.org