1st in his heart

Statistics often register as the preferred proof of greatness, with many believing that numbers tell the scope of a person’s greatness. If one applies that figures-centric approach to the career of Lou Campione as a member of the Philadelphia Police Department, that person could certainly look at arrest tallies and the like, but the true measure of his merit comes through inspecting the impressive list of connections he has made as the captain of the 1st District.

“I think people respond much better if you’re open and always willing to communicate,” he said of his six-year tenure at the 24th-and-Wolf-streets location. “Healthy relationships are vital in making everything work, especially with respect to community policing.”

The Packer Park resident and West Passyunk product credits father Anthony, a World War II veteran, for inspiring his commitment to a life of service. With nearly four decades on the force, Campione relishes his role as the one to rally officers, whom he calls “the troops,” and enjoys engaging with locals to promote positivity, particularly among youths.

“How much you care has to be apparent at all times,” he said of being a public figure whose input helps 10 schools, 17 civic associations, and 25 churches to thrive. “When we deal with children, it’s mandatory to help them to see the value of contributing to their communities.”

Campione, who spoke of the bonds with the aforementioned entities and the implementation of angle parking on 70 blocks as points of pride, counts as a double blessing the ability to pursue his vocation within South Philly, which he said “has always been my home and always will be my home.” At a point in time where some seem to enjoy giving police officers a worse rap than the criminals they pursue, this honoree counts as one of the most genuine, giving, and gregarious individuals to serve our city.

“I’d rather be behind the scenes directing the troops,” Campione said of his Difference Makers honor. “However, I am grateful because I care so much about the people in our district.” — J.M.