Last week, family, friends and fellow officers gathered in Lawncrest to celebrate Staff Inspector Larry Nodiff, who is marking his 45th year as an officer in the Philadelphia Police Department.
Nodiff’s career has included many different stops. He started as a patrol officer on the streets of Roxborough in 1974, and he has since served in the department’s prestigious Highway Patrol Unit and as a sergeant in the Homicide Unit.
In 2007, Nodiff was promoted to captain and served as commanding officer of the 23rd Police District in North Philadelphia. He took on the rank of staff inspector about six years ago, and, for the past 16 months, he has led the school crossing guard unit, which includes hundreds of employees.
“I’m fortunate that for the last 45 years I’ve been part of a team that each and every day comes to work, in some capacity, trying to make the city of Philadelphia a safer place,” Nodiff, 64, of Rhawnhurst, said.
There were some chuckles at the party about Nodiff’s current role, but he said running the crossing guard unit and keeping kids safe is a significant duty.
“This assignment is just as important to me as other assignments that I’ve had,” he said. “It’s just a different way of ensuring safety for the citizens of Philadelphia.”
As previously reported by the Times, there is a shortage of crossing guards in the city, including in the 7th Police District. Nodiff said the city is in the process of hiring new guards. Applications are available on the city’s website.
Councilman At-Large Al Taubenberger presented Nodiff with a citation from City Council at the party, which was held Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the crossing guard administrative office on Rising Sun Avenue. Taubenberger and Nodiff both graduated from Northeast High School in 1971.
Nodiff has received 32 Commendations of Merit, 12 Commendatory Citations and the James T. Ryan Memorial Award, which is given to an officer who shows compassion to the families of homicide victims, according to the citation presented by Taubenberger.
Police Officer Gina Martin, who works alongside Nodiff on a daily basis, had nothing but nice things to say about the staff inspector.
“I couldn’t ask to have a better boss, really, truly,” Martin said. “He’s not just my boss. He’s my friend.”
In addition to his work as a police officer, Nodiff has been an active member of the Rhawnhurst Bustleton Ambulance Association since 1969, according to the citation.
Nodiff has been married for 38 years and has two children and three grandchildren. His son, Sgt. Matt Nodiff, is also a Philadelphia police officer. ••