As I enter my third year as Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County I am encouraged by the successes of the past two years, and looking forward to even more positive changes to the office in 2014.
Last year was an especially busy one as we began our much anticipated transition from a system that depended mostly on the physical filing of papers and forms, to a new computer system designed specifically for our needs that will provide unprecedented efficiency and access.
We also rolled out our interactive web site and began sharing information on everything from real estate listings, to signing up for our ongoing workshops on How To Buy at a Sheriff’s Sale.
The latest figures for the site show about a million visits last year, and it will soon contain even more updates on process and procedures as well as links to other pertinent information and resources.
We’ve also returned close to $1 million owed to those whose homes sold for more than the debt on the property, and have added an extra day of sale per month to accommodate the demands of the court.Our new Bike Patrol Unit is putting on lots of miles as it patrols the perimeter of the Criminal Justice Center, and the three dogs that make up our first K-9 unit will be graduating soon and placed on regular duty to sniff out bombs and illegal drugs.
Our responsibilities are also expanding in 2014 to include the overall security of the newly built Juvenile Justice Center at 15th and Arch Streets that is scheduled to open in June.
This has created a need for more Deputy Sheriff Officers and from January 20th to February 7th, 2014, the application process for that position will be open to any person in Pennsylvania who has received ACT 11, ACT 120 or State Police Certified training within the past three years.
Meanwhile, thank you for your support and patience as we continue to make improvements and retool the Office of the Sheriff City and County of Philadelphia to be more efficient, transparent, and professional.
Finally, I wish everyone a wonderful New Year full of opportunities and progress.