Fallen County officer awarded first Congressional Badge of Bravery

By Mellany Armstrong 3:32pm, April 22, 2013 - Updated 3:38pm, April 22, 2013
WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.
The first ever Delaware Congressional Badge of Bravery has been given to a county police officer who died in the line of duty.

WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

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The medal was presented to Lt. Joe Szczerba's widow, Kathy, in a ceremony at the county public safety building in New Castle.

"He was, indeed, a worthy candidate. Not just in the job he held and the sacrifice he paid, but in his commitment to excellence in everything he did," she said.

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Sen. Tom Carper says Lt. Szczerba showed extreme bravery in holding the suspect accused of stabbing him to death until help arrived.

"Acts of bravery, my God, that's extraordinary courage. It's the kind of courage you only see in the movies, it's amazing" he said.

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County Police Chief Elmer Setting says although Lt. Szczerba was stabbed to death in September 2011 while trying to arrest a man, that's not what made him a hero.

"Joe was a hero every single day of his life. He was one of the most dignified and civilized men I've ever met," Setting said.

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Carper and other dignitaries urged Kathy Szczerba to put the medal in a public place so young people could touch it and learn of the bravery of her husband.


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