Local officer considered for Congressional medal
PHILADELPHIA - March 24, 2011 (WPVI) -- A local police officer is in the national spotlight.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation is paying tribute to the Philadelphia bomb squad detective for his Delaware River rescue during the duck boat tragedy last summer.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation chooses recipients for its "Citizen Before Self" honor annually. What makes it unique is that it's presented to unsung heroes by those who have received the country's highest military honor.
"To have my name mentioned in the same breath as some of these people is humbling," said Detective Timothy Brooks.
Philadelphia Detective, Tim Brooks is with the city's police bomb squad, and will receive one of the nation's highest civilian awards.
He was off duty in Old City, with his partner on July 7th, when he got the call that a barge had struck a sight-seeing duck boat on the Delaware River, sending more than three dozen people overboard.
"We hopped in his truck, and we were there in a manner of seconds," said Detective Brooks.
Brooks spotted a woman and three children in the water.
"So, I took off my gun and handed it to my partner with my wallet and cell," explained Detective Brooks.
"He just jumped right in, and went swimming right toward us," said Lisa Ashery.
"I grabbed the little girl and swan her over to the coast," said Detective Brooks.
That little girl was Lily Rose, a 4th grader at Jarrettown Elementary School in Dresher.
"I kind of thought like he was superman," said Lily.
"And then he lifted me physically into the navy seals raft," said Lisa.
Lily, her mother, and two other children were rescued by Brooks.
"He swam back and forth against that current, I don't know how many times," said Lisa.
When mom and daughter learned the detective was being considered for an honor, both sent the Foundation a letter.
"I hope you give him the medal, because he deserves it," said Lily.
But Brooks insists he's no hero.
"I saw what I thought needed to be done, and I did it," said Detective Brooks.
Still, the honor does have special significance for this third generation cop. It will be presented on the one year anniversary of his father's death.
The ceremony will be held on Friday afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery, and Lisa and Lily Ashery will be there.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, duck boat accident, local/state, lisa thomas-laury
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