Mayor Nutter recognized three employees today for work that has kept city parks clean, brought more children's programming to a neighborhood library and changed the way the police department connects with residents on social media.
The Fourth Annual Richardson Dilworth awards were announced at a Friday morning ceremony in City Hall. Nutter, who started the award in 2011, to honor excellent employees in memory of the late-Mayor Dilworth, added two new categories this year.
Barbara McCabe, Director of Stewardship for the Parks and Recreation Department won the top prize for Distinguished Public Service. The recognition comes with a $5,000 check sponsored by Dilworth-Paxson and Independence Blue Cross.
McCabe, whose first job at age 14 was with the city's Park's Department, has worked for the city for 29 years, most recently overseeing volunteer groups and coordinating with regional organizations to hold cleanup events and beautification projects.
McCabe was selected from 160 nominations of city employees. The award honors a current, full-time executive branch employee with at least three years of continuous service and no recent disciplinary violations.
McCabe thanked the entire department's staff whose work she noted, "is not always under ideal conditions." She closed by thanking the city's volunteers. "You are the real reason I am here today … Everyone is so busy these days and time is a precious commodity. You find the time to bring energy, sweat and passion to make the parks cleaner, greener, more vibrant places for everyone."
Det. Joseph Murray, a detective in the Southwest Detective Division, received an award for innovation in government for his work using social media to communicate with citizens and provide crime updates. The award, which is new this year, comes with a $1,000 prize.
Chief Inspector James Kelly called Murray "one of the brightest and hardest working detectives," in the department and said his realization that "crime fighting and public safety are pointless without teamwork" led to innovative ideas about how the entire force could use social media.
The Philadelphia Police Department's Twitter feed has more than 57,000 followers. Its Facebook page has more than 95,000 likes.
A $1,000 award for excellence in customer service, also new this year, went to Ann Hornbach, head librarian at the Torresdale Neighborhood Library.
"She is dedicated to the children and families of her community, and she brings a tireless sense of service to ensuring that all children have the ability to read and learn," said Siobhan Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia.