FOP honors families of fallen officers

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 in the Far Northeast held a Thanksgiving breakfast for family members of officers who died in the line of duty.

Showing gratitude: State Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 Survivors Thanksgiving Breakfast. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

Families of police officers who died in the line of duty were served breakfast and sent home with meals Wednesday, Nov. 27, in the Far Northeast.

It was Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5’s annual Survivors Thanksgiving Breakfast. The FOP holds similar events around Christmas and Easter.

“It gives them a little chance to come together and share the only common bond that they have, because I don’t know what it feels like,” FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby said. “Nobody else here does.”

Jimmy Binns, founder of the Hero Plaque program honoring cops and firefighters, read the names of about 25 fallen officers whose families attended the breakfast.

Among them were Robert Wilson III, who was fatally shot in 2015 at a North Philadelphia video game store; Gary Skerski, who was killed in 2006 while responding to a robbery at a Northwood bar; and Patrick McDonald, who was shot during a traffic stop in 2008.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 serves breakfast Wednesday, Nov. 27, to family members of officers who died in the line of duty. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

Current officers from Philadelphia, surrounding counties and Delaware also showed up to the event.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro thanked those in attendance for their sacrifice and recalled a shooting in August near 15th Street and Erie Avenue that left six officers injured.

“I couldn’t help but think of the families of those great officers who found themselves in danger,” Shapiro said.

Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said the department and FOP are united in supporting the families of fallen officers. 

“One of the things that we pray every year is that our support for you grows, but that this group of folks here never grows,” she said. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com.

JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO