Law enforcement and sports have a long history. For decades, Police Athletic Leagues and Police Boys and Girls Clubs have brought law enforcement officers and young people together. Many police officers are themselves athletes or they coach youth or adult teams. And, of course, no professional sports franchise in the country could exist without the support of local law enforcement assisting with security, traffic control and other safety responsibilities.
On Saturday, June 14, one professional sports team – the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League – decided to give something back to the public safety community. During its game against the Cleveland Gladiators, the Soul held a special “Heroes Night” to honor both law enforcement officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty. The family of Philadelphia Police Officer Charles Cassidy received special recognition during the pre-game ceremony at the Wachovia Spectrum. Officer Cassidy was gunned down last November as he walked in on an armed robbery at a local donut shop. His name was engraved this spring on Panel 50-West of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial – one of 245 Philadelphia Police officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice throughout the history of that proud department.