General

Sheriff Jewell Williams Offers a Personal Reflection on National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and a great time to make us all more aware of this challenging disease that is closely connected to the things we eat.

Million of Americans—including me—now take on the daily routine of battling to keep our blood sugar at an acceptable level while trying to work, take care of family, make decisions and simply live a decent quality of life.

I revealed that I have diabetes earlier this month on Election Day during a radio program on WURD-AM.

The looks on the faces of several others also sitting at the interviewers table ranged from surprise, to nods of sympathy and stern looks of concern.

It is no secret that diabetes can be managed through proper medication, diet and exercise, but too often those who need such information are the ones who tend to get it least, or too late, and Latinos and African Americans bear the brunt of those afflicted with the disease

According to the American Diabetes Association, a little over 25 million Americans currently have the disease, but only 18.8 million have been diagnosed which means 7 million are walking around with a debilitating disease that has the potential to take their life.

My mother, father, and brother have already succumbed to diabetes so I personally know the importance of treating it as early as possible, and the emotional havoc it leaves behind when a loved one is taken by the disease.

This year’s Diabetes Awareness Month is themed “A Family Affair”, because the effects of diabetes are felt by family members, loved ones, and even co-workers who will have to cover for, or take over for someone who has been hospitalized because of complications from the disease.

For many, unfortunately, the loss of a working member of a household—especially if he or she is the only source of income—can be catastrophic because it starts a chain of  events that can lead to the mortgage not being paid and the home eventually lost to a sheriff’s sale.

In order to prevent such a scenario, you must pay close attention to your health and the health of those in your household. 

If you suspect you have diabetes (an estimated 79 million have Type-2 Diabetes, which is often referred to as pre-diabetes) you should see your doctor immediately and start a regimen of medication (if necessary) that also includes diet and exercise.

I would also strongly suggest you try to create a plan that will cover your mortgage should you become sick, and find as many resources as possible to provide information and referrals to help you.

A good place to start would be the American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org) which can steer you to local organizations that may be able to help your particular situation, as well as point you to other support services.

I also encourage you to not take this disease lightly and remember that it’s affects go way beyond one person, and can include everything from losing a home, to losing a family member.

Staff Inspector Washington participates in Cops and Kids of Color panel

Staff Inspector Paris Washington of the Office of the Philadelphia Sheriff was a participant in a panel on Cops and Kids of Color at the 120 Annual International Conference held in Philadelphia.

“The panel focused on the disproportionate number of minority youth negatively interacting with law enforcement officials that result in arrest and how to reduce it,” said Washington.

More than 13,000 attended the five-day Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center including Police Chiefs, CEO’s, federal officials and law enforcement officials.

Staff Inspector Washington joined the Office of the Sheriff in 1992 and has since earned numerous certifications and awards and promotions.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police serves as the professional voice of law enforcement addressing cutting edge issues confronting law enforcement though advocacy, programs and research, as well as training and other professional services. IACP is a comprehensive professional organization that supports the law enforcement leaders of today and develops the leaders of tomorrow.   

Remembering Dr. Walter P. Lomax, Jr.: A Man of Vision and Purpose

In the more than 30 years I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Walter P. Lomax. Jr., I don’t recall ever seeing him without a smile and a readiness to shake your hand that was always sincere and warm.

Our pleasantries always included a hug and chat about family and mutual friends, as well as political issues and the major community concern of the moment.

His wife, Beverly, was almost always at his side, or someplace close, and I would make it a point to tip my hat (whether I had one on or not) in respect, my personal greeting for one of the most gracious people I’ve ever known.

His recent death has left a void in the leadership of Philadelphia that will never be filed with the type of honesty, perseverance, compassion, intelligence and dignity that fit Dr. Lomax like a well-tailored suit.

He was indeed a special man with the ability to make anyone he encountered feel special as well.

After purchasing WURD, a local talk radio station, and under the guidance of his daughter Sara, it too began to reflect the uniqueness of its owner by delving deep into community issues and concerns and becoming a true voice for the African American community.

I have spoken on the radio station countless times, most recently at a political gathering in West Oak Lane, and even though Dr. Lomax was not there, his presence was felt in the form of a remote set up from WURD. Like him, the discussions I had during that interview were engaging, progressive, and all about community.

Dr. Lomax die at the young age of 81.

My condolences to his family, and I thank them for sharing this great man, whose very full and unselfish life inspired many to be committed to service and improving the lives of others at every opportunity. 

Sheriff Jewell Williams Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and nearly 20 years since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

There have been many improvements and changes in response to domestic violence in general and specifically violence against women.

According to President Barak Obama, who has issued a formal proclamation recognizing the month as a time of reflection and continued awareness: “ . . . our Nation’s response to domestic violence has greatly improved.  What was too often seen as a private matter best hidden behind closed doors is now an established issue of national concern.”

That “concern” is also shared here at the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County.

Study after study has revealed the strong connection between domestic abuse and homelessness caused by women forced to make the mind-bending choice of staying in an abusive relationship, or leaving without a permanent place to live.

Often such situations consist of two-income families reduced to one income, and even if the abusive partner leaves, the other often must take on the economic weight of paying for food, clothing, and the mortgage.

Unfortunately, the latter often becomes as much a casualty as the relationship itself, which gives rise to other pressures and stresses that can—and often does—lead to foreclosure and homelessness.

Over the past several months we’ve been presenting mortgage foreclosure workshops in the basement of churches, community centers, and even in a living room or two in order to provide information on how to possibly avoid a foreclosure.

We’ve also worked with Women Against Abuse to provide information to women who feel they are being intimidated by the accused (and his friends or family) at a court hearing on the matter.

We also serve the accused with Protection From Abuse orders and remove any and all weapons from the home of the accused.

Still, it is everyone’s responsibility, as President Obama said, to continue making this a matter of “national concern”.

With that in mind, I offer the following suggestions that can help those concerned with their safety in a courtroom, and how the sheriff’s office can help to assuage that fear:

  • If you are being harassed, threatened, or intimidated in a courtroom, immediately notify the sheriff and/or the judge.
  • If the deputy sheriff sees an action where a person is threatening or intimidating someone in the courtroom, that deputy can also be a witness for the victim.
  • There is always a supervisor who walks the hallways of 1801 Vine and the Criminal Justice Center.  They can be identified by their blue uniform and the star-shaped badge on the front of their shirt, or embroidered into the sleeve.  If you can’t immediately locate a deputy, the supervisor is sure to be in the area.
  • If you believe the person threatening you will show up at the same court hearing, notify the sheriff’s office to let them know you are on your way.
  • If you know there is a warrant out on a person who is threatening or intimidating you, please let the sheriff’s office know of this as well.

For more information on making this “national concern” your personal concern, you can reach out to organizations like Women Against Abuse (www.womenagainstabuse.org) as I did to better understand this issue when I sat down with Jeannine L. Lisitski, MA, the Executive Director, and Molly Callahan, the organizations Legal Center Director.

Knowledge is power, and essential to making a difference.

Sheriff Presents Commendations

More Articles...

Join Our Mailing List

Email address: