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Spreading the Message of Anti-Bullying

Jewell Williams, Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County (left) participated in Career Day at the Albert M. Greenfield School in Center City Philadelphia along with Marine Corps Reserve Captain Sean A. Toolan (middle) who has a son there in the second grade, and Deputy Sheriff Officer Marquet Parsons, a graduate of Greenfield. 

Sheriff Wiliams spoke about the importance of education and delivered an anti-bullying message to a kindergarten and fifth grade class during the day. 

Sheriff Jewell Williams Encourages Residents to Take Advantage of Financial Assistance Programs for Home Repairs

Spring has finally arrived and I know many are preparing to do urgent home repairs and cleanup after an extremely harsh winter.

Some will have to invest sizeable dollars in major repairs involving roofs, sidewalks, and even the removal of trees and fallen fences.

For those already economically challenged to keep up with their mortgages, there are several programs available to help ease the financial burden of putting your home back in shape.

The Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, for example, has a Basic Systems Repair Program that provides free repairs to “the electrical, plumbing and heating systems of owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia,” as well as “free replacement of a house’s roof if major interior damage such as a collapsing ceiling is evident”.

Certain income restrictions and other requirements regarding residency must be met, but the program is certainly worth exploring, especially if you are a senior living on a fixed income.

Also, the City’s Office of Supportive Housing has a “Rapid Re-Housing” program that “may include cash assistance with rent, utilities and security deposits too”.

Another great resource is the Save Your Home Philly Hotline at (215) 334-4663, that sets you up with a housing counselor if your home is in default.  This is the first step to applying for possible assistance from the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, commonly known as HEMAP.

We are also working on putting together a resource page on our web site that lists numerous agencies and programs that may help you not only save your home, but improve it as well and possibly increase its value.

As the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County, I have directed my staff to increase the number of workshops and seminars we conduct in the community, and to continue with our twice monthly classes on How To Purchase Property At A Sheriff’s Sale conducted in English and Spanish at 100 S. Broad Street.

Finally, I look forward to visiting individual blocks and neighborhoods through the fall as part of our support of the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee and the hundreds of individuals who work so diligently to maintain not only their property, but the community as a whole.

Cold, Snowy February

This winter has already become one of the most challenging I can remember.

Cold, snow, rain, wind, and even short spells of temperatures over 50-degrees has also made it one of the most unpredictable seasons on record.

For many, that also translates into broken water pipes, leaky roofs, fallen trees and all sorts of unexpected hurdles in regards to damage and repairs that may, or may not be covered by insurance.

This can be an extra burden on those already struggling to keep up mortgage payments or stay on track with modified payment plans.

With that in mind I encourage you to stay abreast of available services and resources for those in financial distress and are on the verge of missing one or more mortgage payments.

Such organizations as the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency or the Philadelphia Unemployment Project offer useful tips and information that may help you in a bind.

Meanwhile, I also wanted to recognize that February is Black History Month, a special time to celebrate and appreciate the accomplishments of countless of our American brothers and sisters who have enhanced the quality and greatness of this wonderful nation.

I recently had the pleasure and honor of placing a wreath at the Liberty Bell in conjunction with the National Freedom Association in recognition of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Joining me in the ceremony was Carolyn V. Jordan, the great granddaughter of Richard R. Wright, Sr., founder of the National Freedom Day Association, and father of Richard N. Wright whose world acclaimed novels include “Black Boy,”  “Native Son” and “Uncle Tom’s Children”.

I was also the keynote speaker at the event and sincerely appreciated the presence of so many young people who participated.

So, as February continues to unwind with bouts of cold and snow, I hope the cultural warmth of the month enfolds you and keep us all mindful of the importance of our youth and how any rise to greatness depends heavily on the consistency of house and home.

Job Opportunities as a Deputy Sheriff

The Philadelphia Sheriff is seeking new recruits for Deputy Sheriff Officers positions.  Applications will be accepted between January 20th and Feburary 7th, 2014.

The application process for this 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.

UPDATE: The registration period is now closed.

Sheriff Jewell Williams Looks Forward to an Even More Efficient and Professional Sheriff’s Office in 2014

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.

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