This year, the Daily News and the City of Philadelphia celebrate the 25th anniversary of the George Fencl Award, given to a member of the Philadelphia Police Department whose entire career is worthy of recognition, rather than a single act of valor or bravery. Today, we solicit the public's assistance in nominating a sworn member of this department for the annual Fencl Award.

The Philadelphia Police Department honors our brave men and women in blue for outstanding acts of public service and performance across a number of categories, such as valor, bravery, heroism. These internal recognitions are an important part of celebrating our members' dedication and commitment to their jobs. It is the least we can do to show our appreciation for each other and for the sacrifices that we make in our chosen profession.

The Fencl Award, however, is a symbol of the good faith, mutual respect and trust that serves as the backbone of the relationship between the police and the community. We can tell ourselves that we are a good department, and I believe that, in fact, we are; but the higher and more meaningful compliment is when the community tells us that we are a good department. We derive our legitimacy as police officers from the authority and trust placed in us by the public, and we must never take the public trust for granted.

The members of the Philadelphia Police Department have made significant progress over the past two years in reducing violent crime and making Philadelphia a safer city in which to live and work. We have not been able to accomplish our goals, however, without the support of the communities whom we serve.

For this year's 25th anniversary of the Fencl Award, I'm encouraging the public to nominate members of your Police Department who reflect the highest principles of our profession. Every day, these men and women courageously demonstrate their loyalty to the City of Philadelphia, whether responding to emergency 9-1-1 calls, answering questions from citizens on the streets, walking on foot patrol or showing compassion to a person in need. Look into your own neighborhood where you've gotten to know the officers who work in your district, or think of a time when an officer made a positive difference in your own life or the life of others. Please show your support by nominating a member of this Department who may not be in the public eye, but is deeply committed to public safety, and whose relationship with the community exemplifies the very values worn on the sleeve of the department's uniform: Honor, Service and Integrity.

- Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey,

Philadelphia Police Department

Nominations for the 2010 George Fencl Award can be e-mailed to Lorenzo Biggs at  Biggs can also be reached at 215-854-5816.  Nomination letters can also be mailed to the Daily News at: 400 North Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130.