Philadelphia Police are mourning the loss of a beloved member of the force.
Philadelphia Police Officer Michelle Winkis, 42, died suddenly after suffering a brain aneurysm while working in the department’s 26th District last Monday.
“I feel like I lost my right hand, to be honest with you,” said 26th District commander Capt. Mike Cram. “Michelle was everybody’s buddy. She cared about everybody. She was like the energizer bunny, man. Nonstop.”
Ofc. Winkis, a 23-year veteran, was Capt. Cram’s aide, coordinating operations and projects within the district that covers Kensington, Fishtown and parts of Frankford.
Heavily involved in a number of initiatives including the Blue Flames Police and Fire Football Club, friends and co-workers say Ofc. Winkis was the first person to step up when others needed help.
“If a fundraiser needed to be set up and somebody needed help, Michelle was there. Man, what a great person,” he said.
Longtime friend and fellow Officer Amy Fagan used one word to describe Ofc. Winkis – “selfless.”
“She would tell you how she felt, if she had a problem. Then if something happened to you an hour later, you needed someone, she’d be the first one there,” Ofc. Fagan said. “It’s like losing my sister. Not only a sister in blue, but also my sister.”
A mother of three children, ranging from 19-to-12-years-old, friends say they were Ofc. Winkis’ world.
“She loved her kids. Really any kids, she loved them,” said friend and co-worker Officer Lisa Baker.
A viewing for Ofc. Winkis will be held on Wednesday at the Givnish Funeral Home at 10975 Academy Road in Northeast Philadelphia from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. A funeral mass is set for 11 a.m. Thursday at Church of St. Anne at 2823 Lehigh Avenue.
The department and friends are organizing a fundraiser for Ofc. Winkis’ children on Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the FOP Lodge #5 along 11600 block of Caroline Road.
Ofc. Baker said drinks and food will be served and raffles will be held. All the proceeds will go to a fund for the children.