District Attorney Mike Green Hosts Order of Merit Award Ceremony
On January 12, 2011, Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green hosted the District Attorney’s Order of Merit Award Ceremony at the Drexelbrook.
District Attorney Green and Delaware County Council Chairman John J. Whelan recognized the heroic actions of three members of law enforcement serving the Delaware County community by conferring upon each an Order of Merit award.
On April 23, 2008, Pennsylvania State Constable Carmen "Skip" Damiani was shot while attempting to serve a forcible eviction notice to a resident of the Parkview Court Apartments in Yeadon. The subject shot Damiani in the head with a loaded .25 caliber handgun. Delaware County Councilman Mario Civera introduced Mr. Damiani and recommended him for the Order of Merit.
On May 21, 2010, Upper Darby Police Officer Raymond Blohm, a decorated ten-year veteran and married father of two young girls, was on routine patrol when he observed a pedestrian with an open container of alcohol smoking a marijuana cigarette. The subject shot at Officer Blohm and struck him four times. Despite his wounds, including two bullets in his spine, Officer Blohm returned fire and chased down the subject. Upper Darby Superintendent Michael Chitwood recommended Officer Blohm for the Order of Merit.
On June 29, 2010, Chester Housing Authority Police Officer Luis Rodriquez, who also serves as an officer for the City of Chester, Bethel Township and Trainer Borough, responded to a call for a burglary-in-progress at a City of Chester property. Upon arrival, Officer Rodriquez saw a male exiting the property through a second floor window. As Officer Rodriquez attempted to stop the individual, he was shot in the arm. Chester Housing Authority Police Chief Rodney O’Neill introduced Officer Rodriquez and recommended him for the Order of Merit.
District Attorney Green also recognized the efforts of paramedic units from Crozer-Chester Medical Center EMS, Delaware County Memorial Hospital EMS and Mercy Fitzgerald EMS and presented them Awards for Heroic Action. These paramedic units provided life-saving care to Constable Damiani, Officer Blohm and Officer Rodriquez. Upper Darby Mayor Thomas N. Micozzie introduced representatives from each paramedic unit and recommended them for a Heroic Action Award.
District Attorney Green presented Community Service Awards to the Crozer Regional Trauma Center of the Crozer-Chester Medical Center and to the Trauma Center of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for the critical care they provided to the wounded officers. Mayor Wendell N. Butler, Jr. of the City of Chester introduced representatives of the hospitals and recommended them for the Community Service Award.
District Attorney Green also honored prominent local attorney James J. Binns, Esquire for his years of support and service to the law enforcement and fire service communities of Delaware County and the Delaware Valley area. Mr. Binns is the founder and chairman of Hero Thrill Show, Inc. The mission of the organization is to raise money to pay the college tuition for the children of police officers and firefighters lost in the line of duty. Over the years, Mr. Binns has donated motorcycles, bikes and weapons to police departments in the Delaware Valley area. Also, Mr. Binns instituted the Hero Plaque Programs for Police and Firefighters to honor the memories of dedicated public servants who have been killed or who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Through this program, Mr. Binns honored the memory of Upper Darby Police Officer Dennis McNamara, who was killed in the line of duty on January 30, 2002. Television personality, Alicia Vitarelli introduced Mr. Binns and recommended him for an Order of Merit.
Also, on behalf of the City of Chester, Mayor Butler and City of Chester Police Department Captain Anita Amaro presented Officer Rodriquez with an award of appreciation.
The Upper Darby High School Chorus directed by Barbara Benglian offered inspirational musical selections. In addition to county officials and other local elected officials, members of local law enforcement and members of the medical community were on hand to recognize the efforts of the award recipients.