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Mayor Michael Nutter speaks at DPS Commendation ceremony Credit: Mi Jiang , Mi Jiang

“When you are 18 years old, sex is always an emergency,” City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told a room full of public safety officers and supporters on Wednesday. Nutter was speaking at the Division of Public Safety Commendation Ceremony, which was also the Undergraduate Assembly and Graduate and Professional Students Assembly Recognition Awards.

Nutter was recounting a memory from his undergraduate Wharton years living in Lower Quadrangle’s Ashurst-McGee when his Resident Advisor gave Nutter and his hallmates a copy of a safe-sex book entitled “Sex is an Emergency.” In response to the gift, Nutter said at the time, “F**k that.”

Nutter followed this anecdote by expressing his appreciation for the University, saying that both of his chiefs of staff and many members of his office were drawn from the Penn undergraduate and graduate community. “Penn continues to astound the city, the country and the world,” Nutter said.

The ceremony began with a procession of uniformed men wielding flags and marching to the tune of bagpipes. Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush then introduced a tribute video to fallen Sgt. Robert Wilson of the Philadelphia Police Department who was shot to death on duty earlier this year.

Fifteen commendations were then presented to 14 Penn Police sergeants, detectives and officers for their work. Commendatory letters and letters of recognition were also presented to Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Yvonne Ruiz and Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Mark Winter, as well as eight dispatchers and supervisors with PennComm.

The Undergraduate Assembly and Graduate and Professional Student Assembly then presented their Public Safety Recognition Awards to several Penn Police officers, chosen based on letters of gratitude submitted by members of the student body in appreciation for the officers’ help, according to DPS.

Rush said that Nutter’s office contacted DPS about the Mayor attending the ceremony. Nutter commended the Penn community for its work in putting together the late Wilson’s funeral at the Palestra on March 14, which he attended. “It took an army to make that funeral happen, and they recognized it,” Rush said.

The commendations were chosen based on outstanding achievements in public safety by not only police officers, but also by PennComm dispatchers, ADAs, Penn Patrol officers and the University City District Security Ambassador Jason Giles.

“It’s not just for the police,” Rush said. “It’s for everyone in public safety — it takes a team to bring the package together to keep people safe, and that’s what we do 365, 24/7.”

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