The City of Philadelphia is many things: busy, exciting, cultural, and of course dangerous. Enforcing the law in such a massive, densely populated city with so many varied neighborhoods takes nothing less than the selfless dedication of the city’s finest. Among them is Joseph Handline, a young man who has emerged as a community leader both within and outside the police force.

Handline has served with the Philadelphia Police Department for five years, and has already shown his value to the force. Twice he has earned commendations for his work on particular cases, once for handling a robbery and once for handling a homicide case. In a city that sees hundreds of murders each year and in recent years has been home to well over 1,000 shootings annually as well as other instances of violent crime, serving and protecting the citizens can place an officer’s life in very real danger. Handline, however, doesn’t let that danger or the potentially traumatizing sights he sees on the job stand in his way of serving the community and his family when he’s off-duty. From his volunteer work with young athletes to affectionately caring for his wife, he’s been called a dedicated, all-around hero.

Look for our feature on Mike O’Brien, an honorable mention and one of the many inspiring contest nominees, next week!

Check back for Joseph Handline’s full story, and other tales of heroism from the courageous first responders across South Jersey and the Philadelphia Metro region, in our Real Heroes Wear Badges, Not Capes gallery, coming soon.

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