News Story

Sheriff says he needs 30 percent budget increase; Nutter offers zero

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."


Written by Jan Ransom for the Daily News on April 17, 2013.

Cops' Valentine to fugitives: "You're a great catch!"

No sweet love and kisses here. Cops woke up 22 fugitives this morning with hand shackles and a ride to jail.

In their 16th annual, predawn Valentine's Day warrant sweep, more than 50 cops fanned out across Philadelphia and its surrounding counties in search of about 300 fugitives wanted on warrants for offenses big and small. They caught 22 of them in the five-hour sweep and hauled them in to Family Court for processing.

"I'm an Afghanistan veteran. Thanks, America!" a shackled fugitive barked at reporters on his way into courthouse. Another shouted expletives at news photographers.

But Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams had little sympathy for the nabbed fugitives, who will get no roses or candy on this day celebrating sweethearts.

"They'll be eating cheese sandwiches today," Williams said. Fugitives "creep around like little rats so they don't get caught. But today, we have taken some bad guys off the street."

Williams noted that his office organizes the sweep every year on Valentine's Day, so "it would seem to me these people should know we're coming."

The fugitives caught were wanted for crimes including robbery, theft, driving under the influence, failure to pay child support and failure to appear in court, Williams said. Sheriff's deputies and other officers from Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties and Pennsylvania State Police troopers participated in the sweep. 

Williams urged fugitives to turn themselves in. Tipsters who know of any fugitives' whereabouts can call deputies at (215) 686-3578.


Reported by Dana DiFilippo for the Daily News on February 14, 2013.

22 nabbed in Valentine's Day warrant sweep

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - February 14, 2013 (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Sheriff's Office, along with other city and regional police agencies, rounded up dozens of suspects in a Valentine's Day warrant sweep.

The Action Cam was there early Thursday morning as police went to various homes in the city in search of the fugitives.

The suspects were wanted for everything from attempted murder, domestic violence, failure to pay child support and other crimes.

In all, nearly 300 people were targeted in the sweep.

The sweep is a Valentine's Day tradition for the sheriff's office, which has been conducted for 16 years.


Reported by Action News on February 14, 2013.

Phila. Sheriff’s Office Rounds Up Dozens Accused of Skipping Child Support Payments

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Twenty-two people are in custody today after an early morning sweep by the Philadelphia sheriff’s department for parents who haven’t paid child support.

But the sweep netted more than that.

Sheriff Jewell Williams says the sweep started about 2am and wrapped up five hours later. But instead of using just Philadelphia records, he says, the sweep included the surrounding counties using state police records.

“We found that there were other outstanding warrants — for burglary, robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, aggravated assault, simple assault,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “and we just included those other counties, and we found that we had people who were wanted for more than just not paying child support.”

Williams says some will have to serve time behind bars because they violated the child support agreement. And he says with apparent satisfaction that those who committed additional crimes will also be off the streets.


Reported by Kim Glovas of CBS Philly on February 14, 2012.

Sheriff Williams Shields Philadelphia’s Courthouses

The tragic killing of three people in the lobby of the New Castle Co. Courthouse in Wilmington, Del. is something the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County tries actively to prevent, said Sheriff Jewell Williams.

Sheriff Williams said, “First of all, I want to offer my condolences and prayers to the families of those killed as well as those wounded in this horrific incident.”

He then stated, “The security and safety of the general public, judges, witnesses, defendants and the accused at the Criminal Justice Center, Traffic Court and Family Court here in Philadelphia are all our responsibility and we are constantly training our Deputy Sheriffs and reviewing our security at each.”

“Unfortunately, when someone with a gun is determined to use it, such a scenario is a challenge for even the best security,” he added.

The shootings in Wilmington occurred in the lobby of the county court house prior to people going through the metal detector. The lobby of the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia is constantly monitored by uniformed personnel who are trained to respond in an “active shooter” scenario.

“We expect to have a bike patrol (two) outside the perimeter of the CJC in a few days, and though we are down in personnel overall, we will continue to keep a uniformed presence in the outer perimeter of the building,” added Sheriff Williams.


Published by the Philadelphia Public Record on February 14, 2013.

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