IN HIS PROPOSED BUDGET, Mayor Nutter did not seek any additional money for the Sheriff's Department despite its expanding responsibilities, but Sheriff Jewell Williams on Tuesday asked City Council for a 30 percent increase.
That increase amounts to $4.1 million for 100 new deputies, a budget director, a computer-support employee and a clerical position. Williams said there were 230 deputies in 2008 compared with 194 now.
"We get downplayed because we don't get the manpower we deserved," Williams said. "We are stretched very thin."
Williams said more deputies are needed to staff the new multi-story Family Court building at 15th and Arch streets, set to open next year, and courts opening up in the Widener building.
"We are in dire need of additional deputies," Williams said. "God forbid we have a major incident [like Boston] and don't have trained personnel."
Meanwhile, Council President Darrell Clarke did not take a stand on Williams' request for more money, but said the security concerns were worth revisiting. Referring to City Hall, Clarke said, "This is probably one of the least-protected buildings in the city of Philadelphia."