IT WAS ABOUT 8 o’clock Tuesday night, and the chilly, rain-soaked streets of North Philadelphia‘s 39th Police District were nearly empty as Officer Michael Levin’s Crown Vic crept across the blacktop.
But Levin, who usually works in bicycle patrol when weather and circumstances permit, was on the street anyway, keeping a watchful eye on the swaths of North Philadelphia, Nicetown, Germantown and East Falls that make up the district headquartered at 22nd Street and Hunting Park Avenue.
On this night, Levin, 28, a seven-year veteran who’s spent all those years in the 39th, reflected on community policing – a strategy favored by Capt. Michael Craighead, who took command of the district about a year ago.
“Bike patrol is really good for community relations. People come up and thank you. It’s a real good deterrent presence,” Levin said. “The community needs us and we need them.”