HomeNewsBill passed to rename bridge after fallen police officer

Bill passed to rename bridge after fallen police officer

A bridge on a portion of Castor Avenue will be designated as the Officer Gary Frank Skerski Memorial Bridge, who was killed in the line of duty in 2006.

Skerski

The state Senate last week unanimously passed a bill, authored by Rep. Jason Dawkins, to rename a bridge after fallen 15th Police District community relations officer Gary Skerski.

In October, the House unanimously passed the bill, which heads to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

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House Bill 1778 would designate a bridge on a portion of Castor Avenue as the Officer Gary Frank Skerski Memorial Bridge.

“Officer Gary Frank Skerski is the best example of a public servant. He was dedicated to the community and passionate about his job. He devoted and gave his life to protect our people. We will always remember his sacrifice and we will work to keep his legacy alive,” Dawkins said.

Skerski was shot and killed in the line of duty on May 8, 2006, while responding to a reported armed robbery at Pat’s Café, in Northwood. He had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 16 years.

Solomon Montgomery was arrested for the crime. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and a sentence of life in prison, with no chance of parole, to avoid a possible death sentence.

Skerski was a member of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, the League of Sacred Heart of Jesus and a parishioner of St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church in Port Richmond. He was 46 and married with two children.

Reps. John Taylor and Angel Cruz were co-sponsors of the bill.

Sen. Tina Tartaglione urged the Senate to pass the bill. She described Skerski as a beloved son, brother, husband and father who was the face of the police department for schools, churches and civic associations in Frankford, Mayfair, Tacony, Wissinoming and Bridesburg.

“Officer Skerski showed us every day the many great things that police officers do within communities,” she said from the Senate floor. “He embodied the mission ‘to protect and serve.’ In the aftermath of the fatal shooting, patrons who were inside Pat’s Café that night credited Officer Skerski for protecting them — for literally saving their lives. Likewise, Officer Skerski’s efforts on community relations set a shining example that remains as relevant today as it was then.” ••

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