Retired Philadelphia police officer gets wish granted to return to Roundhouse

It was a very special reunion for a retired Philadelphia police officer. His wish was to return one last time to the place where he served and protected the public for more than two decades. On Friday, that wish came true.

82-year-old Al Vasso got a grand sendoff from friends and fellow residents at the Luther Woods Nursing Home in Hatboro Friday morning on his way to work.

Vasso's wish was to meet with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross at Philadelphia police headquarters--the Roundhouse--home base for Vasso's 24-year career as a Philly cop.

The people at the Twilight Wish Foundation made it happen. Vasso hadn't laid eyes on the Roundhouse since he retired from the force in 1982.

From 1958 through 1982, Vasso served the public as a patrol officer in uniform and plainclothes and as a detective with the police department, DA's office and the court system.

Vasso in his meeting with Commissioner Ross was like a kid in a candy store. He and the commissioner swapped gifts and stories of what it meant and means to be a police officer.

Vasso, who lost both legs to diabetes, remembered getting shot in the line of duty and he recalled lighter moments on the force.

Then, it was on to the radio room and a peek at technology that has changed so much over the years. One thing hasn't changed at all is the feeling that a public servant gets when he or she is back in the company of those who also serve.

"This is one helluva group. It's like a family to me. They're all family," he said.

For more information, please visit the Twilight Wish Foundation.