In 1906, the neighborhood of 9th Street near Wood, in Chinatown, was known as "The Tenderloin," and cops patrolled on foot.

Police Officer Frank Slaymaker was one of those cops.

Only 23, Slaymaker was assigned to the 10th and Buttonwood station, now the 6th District, and was called to investigate a robbery of two people inside a Chinese restaurant.

Slaymaker arrested two people, both career criminals, and did what officers back then did - took them to a call box so they could be taken to headquarters.

One of the prisoners had a revolver in his pants pocket and without even taking it out, he squeezed off two shots, both of which hit Slaymaker.

Slaymaker, who had been on the force only one year, died 13 days later.

As usual for the hero-plaque dedications, Chief Inspector James Tiano and his small, dedicated staff hunted for a member of the slain officer's family. After a diligent search, Slaymaker's grand-nephew was found in Chicago.

He and his family were unable to attend yesterday's ceremony but John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, stressed the importance of remembrance no matter how much time has passed since the officer's death.

"This is something that we're able to do, to come and recognize the slain officers, and for the families it gives them some closure and is in some cases, their first time back to the scene where their loved one died," McNesby said.

"The strength they have and that we give them shows that the police family is what it is: a family, and we never forget."

The hero-plaque program is a joint effort between the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5, and attorney James Binns. Anyone interested in sponsoring a hero plaque should call Binns at 215-275-3000. *