New commanding officer in town

An exclusive interview with the new captain of the 26th District.

New face of the 26th: Capt. Krista Dahl Campbell was named commander of the district on March 6 after being promoted.

Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Police Department announced more than 100 promotions within its ranks.

Those promotions saw the leaving of one captain and the arrival of another at the 26th Police District.

Former Capt. George Kappe was promoted to inspector.

Newly minted Capt. Krista Dahl Campbell was one of 11 lieutenants promoted to captain and was appointed as the new commanding officer of the 26th on March 6.

“This opportunity is great and I’m honored to have it and I’m very excited about it,” Dahl Campbell said.

Dahl Campbell grew up in Lansdale, but she was no stranger to the city she has served for more than a decade.

“My grandparents lived in the Lawncrest section of the city, so I was in the city a lot,” she said.

Dahl Campbell attended Lansdale Catholic High School and graduated from Penn State University, where she studied crime, law and justice.

Her first job out of college, a victim advocate, is what laid the groundwork for a career in law enforcement, according to Dahl Campbell.

“Being a victim advocate in hindsight was an ideal way to learn about crime before joining the police department. It gave me a really unique perspective to what happens to a victim of crime,” she said. “Police show up and do a great job helping in the moment, but there’s so much that victims go through afterwards that police really don’t get to see.”

Her three-year experience with a private, nonprofit in South Philadelphia carved out “a special place in [her] heart for victims of crime.”

While she wasn’t a police officer, Dahl Campbell’s grandmother was a role model for her as she set up for a career in law enforcement.

“She lived through the Great Depression and showed me what it was like to be a strong woman,” she said. “I always wanted to do my best to make her proud and be like her.”

In 2005, Dahl Campbell graduated from the Philadelphia Police Academy.

Her first assignment was to patrol in the 17th Police District.

For six years, she learned the streets of South Philly.

“I loved my time in the 17th as an officer,” she said. “From there, I made sergeant.”

Dahl Campbell served as a sergeant in the 12th Police District in Southwest Philly for two years and was promoted to lieutenant and was assigned to patrol in the 9th Police District in Center City.

“They were all great assignments and taught me a lot,” she said.

For the past two years, Dahl Campbell has served in the Victims Services Community Relations Unit, which is a citywide unit.

“It was definitely a great fit for me,” she said.

As captain, victims of crimes are a definite priority.

“I certainly believe in community policing, so I’m on the same train of thought as Inspector Kappe,” she said, “and I’m also very victim-centered, so I want to make sure that people who have experienced something difficult are taken care of and justice prevails for them.”

And as far as a relationship with the community goes, expect to see Dahl Campbell out and about.

“I’m excited about being able to be out in the community,” she said. “Being a captain of a district comes with the ability to interact with a lot of people and community groups, and I really enjoy that.”

Different initiatives will happen once Dahl Campbell “really gets to know the neighborhood,” but there is always a focus on “violent crime and property crime.”

Part of learning about the district comes from attending community meetings.

This week, Dahl Campbell planned to attend an EKNA meeting and has plans to attend as many monthly community meetings as possible.

Looking to meet the new captain?

Head on over to the ORCA meeting at Cione Recreation Center, 2600 Aramingo Ave., on Tuesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Dahl Campbell is looking forward to getting to know residents.

“I’m very happy to be here,” she said. “I had never been in East Division before, so I look forward to learning it and interacting with the community. Between them and the officers, they’ll be my best sources of information for learning about the neighborhood.”