National Night Out is one of my favorite community events.

 This year it has taken on a deeper meaning as neighborhoods across the country join local law enforcement and politicians in conveying a message of unity to promote safety and awareness as major crime fighters.

Considering the recent tumultuous events in Texas, Minnesota and Louisiana, one can easily become cynical and place little faith in the notion that communities and law enforcement officers charged with protecting them, are so far apart they will never come together.

In Philadelphia, however, National Night Out is both serious and festive as sheriff officers, and local and state police alike all participate in an evening of information sharing, shaking hands, music, food and genuinely enjoying the moment.

I expect to see the same on August 2nd as I and several of my officers go from one community event to another on narrow streets, parks, and recreation centers to celebrate and recognize that we are all in this together.

Dwight Eisenhower once said that: “This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.”

As we all pause, and rightly so, to reflect on what is currently happening in our nation, let’s also not forget the struggles and challenges we’ve overcome as a people to get to this point.

No, I don’t expect a tsunami of warmth and forgiveness to flow over the country on August 2nd, but I do anticipate the purpose, dedication, and focus hat comes with National Night Out to be a buttress for the hope and optimism that is the essence of the event.

So, please join me in volunteering some of your time on August 2nd to sit with your neighbors, mingle with local law enforcement, and have conversations that bring us all forward with understanding and patience.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the John F. Hartranft Elementary School to sponsor a Read-A-Thon with Kindergarten to 3rdgraders as part of the Right Books Campaign for the Philadelphia School System.

I was joined by several Deputy Sheriffs and non-uniformed employees who believe as I do that reading is one of the most important literacy tools in our arsenal. Protecting our children and educating them are two of their basic and deserved rights.

Reading not only allows our young people to compete in the classroom and years beyond but can help them explore worlds unknown. Through books they can discover fantasy, experience travel, and insights about the people that have made history in the worlds of science, space exploration, sports and music.

The three R’s was the mantra when I was growing up. I remember we had lots of books to select from. Today too many of our classrooms and schools have no libraries or books which is what brought us to Hartranft School.

We want to see a library in each K thru 3 grade classroom in Philly schools with properly trained comprehensive literacy trained teachers to make sure our kids get that boost when they need it most. And I encourage every parent, grandparent, older sister or brother, caretaker or special person to pick up a book and sit and share the magic of words with your loved little ones.

Wishing you a safe Memorial Day Holiday and let it be the beginning of a Summer of Peace,

The Office of the Philadelphia Sheriff is proud to launch a redesign of our very popular website. The site hosts on average about 800 visitors every day, with a total of 370,000 unique users since the site was launched in 2013. Users are able to get detailed information about properties sold at Sheriff Sale, sign up for seminars to learn how the Sheriff Sale process works, determine if a deed has been filed on a property, and calculate the legal fees necessary to have a Deputy Sheriff serve a court order. We have even provided a video about how to purchase a property at a Sheriff Sale that has been viewed by almost 17,000 people in the past 18 months.

Responsive Design

Today we are proud to re-launch our website designed in a way to make it even easier for citizens to get the information they are seeking. The site has been redesigned with a responsive format to provide a seamless experience across all devices, making it easier and more fun to explore on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

Comprehensive Search

We have also added a comprehensive search engine to the site to more easily find content throughout the site. The site is offered in English and Spanish (the two most used languages by our users according to online analytics).

New Web App Features

We are excited to add new features to our most popular section of the site: The Sheriff Sale App, which allows users to easily search for information about properties being sold as Sheriff Sale. The new features will allow a user to:

  • Search for properties by zip code or ward
  • View a sale history for each property to see which auctions it has been listed on in the past, and whether it is scheduled to be sold in the future
  • View a list of liabilities owed on the property to get a better understanding of the outstanding obligations due on the property
  • Download even more information as a spreadsheet, including the liabilities, to perform custom analysis
  • More easily use the app on a handheld devise like a tablet or smartphone
  • Keep track of the properties already viewed by changing the color of the pin icon representing each property
  • View additional information about the result of an auction, including the sale date a property has been postponed too

More to Come!

The Office of the Philadelphia Sheriff is committed to providing full transparency by offering as much information as possible online in a way that is easy to access. We look forward to continuing to innovate the way we communicate with the public online.

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Sheriff Jewell Williams attends first City Council meeting of 2016 called to order by City Council President Darrell Clarke. Deputies from the Office of the Philadelphia Sheriff are on duty guarding all attending the Council meetings.

Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams takes the Pledge against Domestic Violence at the 8th Annual iPLEDGE press conference on Thursday, October 8 in Love Park hosted by Women Against Abuse.

"I Pledge to raise my voice against violence," said Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Hughes (center at podium) and Sheriff Jewell Williams (to right of Hughes) along with hundreds of participants.

Also participating:  Councilwoman Marion Tasco (right of Williams), Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez (left of Senator Hughes) and newly elected State Represenative Jooanna McClinton to right of Quinones Sanchez.

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The Office of the Sheriff announced today a change to the Monthly Foreclosure Sales held in the First District Plaza Building at 3801 Market Street in Philadelphia.

Starting January 5, 2016, "ALL SALES" will start at 9AM.

This will allow us to accomodate the increase in properties being brought to sale and provide us the oppurtunity to close out the sale process by the end of the business day.