FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact:  Airika Brunson
Phone:  215-686-3572

Philadelphia juveniles paint their way to a second chance

At-risk student art exhibit opens at Family Court Division

Philadelphia, March 25—In partnership with INLIQUID Art and Design, the Office of the Sheriff of the City and County Of Philadelphia, invites the public to view the Traveling Youth Art Exhibition starting on Tuesday, April 1 through April 30, 2014 between the hours of 2pm and 5pm at the Philadelphia Family Division of Juvenile Court, 1801 Vine Street.  The Art Exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate and honor the talents, creativity and determination of local public school students who were once affected by the juvenile justice system—in some cases due to circumstances beyond their control.  Their artwork portrays their vision of their communities and homes.

The Office of the Sheriff is sponsoring the art exhibit to support innovative programs that provide second chances to youth, some of whom have been in detention.  In 2013, the Sheriff's Office delivered 7,177 juvenile inmates to court and sentencing hearings.

“The vast majority of these young people are from neighborhoods with known gang, high crime rates and urban blight; they need creative options–including art programs, education and job opportunities,” said Sheriff Jewell Williams.  “I'd rather see the youth packing pens, paint brushes, paper, notebooks and computers than packing pistols, shot guns, or gang tattoos.”

"I would like to see more of these art programs throughout the city, especially if they result in fewer juveniles visiting my court house," says Judge Kevin Dougherty, Administrative Judge of the Family Division of Juvenile Court.  “Since 2009, the number of juvenile arrests have been decreased by nearly 3,000, we want to continue that trend.” 

The Traveling Youth Art Exhibit collectioncontains works fromstudents at Edison High School, The Philadelphia Mural Arts Guild, Harrington Elementary School, and Moore College of Arts Learning through Photography Program.  More than 30 pieces are on exhibit, representing students from all grade levels.The students were chosen from arts education programs; each has had experience in the criminal justice system or spent time in detention.

These youth artists were involved in art-making and engaged in creative outlets through their schools or through community organizations that prioritized access to the arts. The Traveling Art Show proves that all children and youth in Philadelphia need and deserve to have access to these same kinds of programs and opportunities.  The artists from the Mural Arts Guild program are former dropouts who have returned to earn their high school diplomas.

The exhibit is one of INLIQUID’s Juvenile In Justice programs which include a Youth Ambassador Program and the first free juvenile record expungement clinic in Philadelphia.  The clinic is a partnership with Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE).  The Youth Art Show is traveling regionally throughout 2014.  

“Arts education plays an essential role in providing young people with tools to understand the world and to express themselves,” according to Rachael Zimmerman, President of INLIQUID. “By having them address issues related to both personal hardships and the justice system through art, we are able to learn from them and gain crucial insights from the perspectives of youth in our community, allowing us to better engage them and provide support.”

The Exhibit opens to the public on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 and runs thru April 30, 2014, 2:00 pm-5:00 pm Monday thru Friday.

About the Office of the Philadelphia Sheriff

The Office of the Sheriff, City and County of Philadelphia is committed to serving and protecting the lives, property and rights of all within a framework of high ethical standards and professional conduct at all time.  The Office is responsible to provide safety to all that enter Philadelphia courtrooms including, judges, juries, defendants, witnesses, courtroom personnel and the public.  It is also responsible to manage all First Judicial Court ordered foreclosures of property - that includes mortgage and tax sales, in an ethical, honest, transparent and respectful manner while offering dignity to all involved in the procedure.

About InLIQUID

InLiquid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunities and exposure for visual artists while serving as a free, online public hub for arts information in the Philadelphia area. By providing the public with immediate access to view the portfolios and credentials of over 280 artists and designers via the internet; through meaningful partnerships with other cultural organizations; through community-based activities and exhibitions; and through an extensive online body of timely art information, InLiquid brings to light the richness of our region’s art activity, broadens audiences, and heightens appreciation for all forms of visual culture.

Ten percent of the highest bid for each property auctioned off shall be deposited in certified check, attorney’s check or money order with the Sheriff by each bidder when the bid is registered, provided that in no case shall less than Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) be deposited, otherwise upon failure or refusal to make such deposit, the bidder shall lose all benefit of the bid and the property may be  offered again and sold unless a second bid has been registered, then, the second highest bidder will take the property at the highest bid price.

Additionally, where there is active bidding, the highest bidder, and the second highest bidder, if any must post the entire amount of the cost of the distribution policy for the property at the time of sale by certified check, attorney’s check or money order with the Sheriff.

The balance of the purchase money must be deposited in certified check, attorney’s check or money order together with a Deed poll for execution by the highest bidder to the Sheriff at his office within 30 days from the time of the sale. Also, if the first bidder does not complete settlement with the Sheriff within the thirty (30) day time limit and a second bid was registered at the sale, the second bidder shall be granted the same thirty (30) day time limit to make settlement with the Sheriff on the second bid. Thereafter, the Sheriff shall be at liberty to return the writ to court.

A second bid must be registered on any property immediately after it is sold. The second bidder must present the same amount of deposit that the highest bidder delivers to the Sheriff at the sale. An extension of time under no circumstances will be granted or honored by the Sheriff whenever a second bid is registered on a property at the sale.

The first bid or opening bid on each property shall be a sum sufficient to pay all Sheriff’s costs including advertising, all taxes, water rents and municipal claims due to the City of Philadelphia. If there is no other bid price above the opening bid price, the property shall be sold by the auctioneer to the attorney on the writ at that price.

The deposit by any bidder who fails to comply with the above conditions of sale shall be forfeited and the funds will be applied to the Sheriff’s cost, then to any municipal claims that the City of Philadelphia has on the property. Finally, if a balance still remains, a Sheriff’s Distribution Policy will be ordered and the money will be distributed accordingly.

No personal checks, drafts or promises to pay will be accepted in lieu certified checks, attorney’s checks or money orders made payable to the Sheriff of Philadelphia County.

The Sheriff reserves the right to grant further extensions of time to settle and further reserves the right to refuse bids from bidders who have failed to enter deposits on their bids, failed to make settlement, or make fraudulent bids, or any other behavior which causes disruption of the Sheriff Sale. Said bidders shall be so refused for the sale in which said behavior occurred and for said further period of time as the Sheriff in his discretion shall determine.

The Sheriff will not acknowledge a deed poll to any individual or entity using an unregistered fictitious name and may, at his discretion, require proof of identity of the purchaser or the registration of fictitious names. The bid of an unregistered fictitious name shall be forfeited as if the bidder failed to meet the terms of sale.

All bidders are advised to remain at the sale until after the last property is sold. The Sheriff reserves the right to re-sell any property at any time before the end of the sale, upon the successful bidders’ failure to tender the required deposit. The Sheriff reserves the right to postpone or stay the sale of any property in which the attorney on the writ has not appeared and is not present at the sale.

Prospective purchasers are directed to the Web site of the Philadelphia Bureau of Revision of Taxes, (BRT) brtweb.phila.gov for a fuller description of the properties listed. Properties can be looked up by the BRT number – which should be cross checked with the address. Prospective purchasers are also directed to the Room 154 City Hall, 215-686-1483 and to its website philadox.phila.gov and to its website at http://philadox. phila.gov where they can view the deed to each individual property and find the boundaries of the property. PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING THE NATURE, LOCATION, CONDITION AND BOUNDARIES OF THE PROPERTIES THEY SEEK TO PURCHASE. The BRT # refers to a unique number assigned by the City Bureau of Revision of Taxes to each property in the City for the purpose of assessing it for taxes. This number can be used to obtain descriptive information about the property from the BRT website. Effective Date: July 7, 2006

NOTICE OF SCHEDULE OF DISTRIBUTION

The Sheriff will file in his office, The Land Title Building, 100 South Broad Street, 5th Floor, a Schedule of Distribution Thirty (30) Days from the date of the sale of Real Estate. Distribution will be made in accordance with the Schedule unless exceptions are filed thereto within ten (10) days thereafter. N.B. - For the benefit of our non-professional readers who do not understand the meaning of the letters and figures following the defendant’s names, we make the following.

EXPLANATION

The name first appearing in each notice is that of the defendant in the writ whose property is being sold. All Writs are Writs of Executions.

The letters C.P., Court of Common Pleas; O.C., Orphans’ Court; Q.S., Court of Quarter Sessions; C.C., County Court - indicate the Court out of which the writ of execution issues under which the sale is made: S. 1941. 223. means September Term, 1941. 223, the term and number of the docket entry; the figures following show the amount of debt; and the name following is that of the attorney issuing the writ.

Attention is called to the provisions of Act No.104, approved July 27, 1955, which requires owners of properties which are used, designed or intended to be used by three or more families, or of commercial establishments which contain one or more dwelling units, to deliver to the buyers of such properties a use registration permit at the time of settlement, under certain terms and conditions. Sheriff Sales are not subject to provisions of the said Act and the Sheriff will, therefore, not deliver use registration permits in connection with any sales conducted by him. 

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.

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.

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.

Philadelphia is an aesthetically pleasing city throughout the year, and the holiday season between November and January makes it even more pleasing to the eyes.

Unfortunately, it is also the time of the year when the scam artists, flimflam opportunists, and generally dishonest people trying to get money illegally from honest folks also seem to come out in droves.

At the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County, we regularly receive inquiries during the holidays from people who have been called by a creditor claiming the sheriff’s office has a warrant out for them and will come to arrest them if they don’t pay a delinquent debt.

These company’s and/or individuals usually go by official sounding names like Legal Recovery Services, which is an organization mentioned by a number of surrounding counties as being responsible for defrauding many individuals by using the “warrant” line to force you to give them money.

A common approach is to claim that someone has taken out an online loan in your name that has gone into default and you must pay up or face arrest from the sheriff.

First and foremost, if you hear that, you know it’s a lie.

The Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County does not telegraph the fact we have a warrant out for an individual, and we would never call up the individual to tell them we have a warrant. We would simply show up at the door.

Also, my office has no relationship whatsoever with creditors of any sort, especially when it comes to the enforcement of a non-court ordered debt.

Or, there are others who claim to have some special access to the sheriff’s office that allows them to get funds owed to an individual from a sheriff’s sale much faster than if the individual went through the process themselves . . . but you must pay them an often hefty upfront fee for the service.

I can assure you there is no “special access” or preferential treatment given any person making a claim on funds they feel are owed to them from a sheriff’s sale. The process is a simple one and generally not complicated if all the proper identification and paperwork is presented.

So, I encourage you to enjoy this holiday season, but also be wary of those who may be trying to become a Grinch to your good feelings by getting you to worry over something that is a lie, and pay to settle a problem that doesn’t even exist. 

To improve safety and efficiency of Sheriff's sales, starting with 2014 February Sheriff's Sales, the Sheriff will no longer accept cash at any mortgage foreclosure or tax sale.  Deposits on purchased properties must be paid by money order, certified bank checks, cashier's check or attorney's checks.  We will not accept personal checks.

In the event the buyer does not have the exact denomination in checks to make a deposit, the excess amount paid will be credited toward the balance due at settlement.

Any suggestions or comments regarding these regulations should be addressed to Richard Tyer of the Sheriff's Real Estate Department.

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 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.   

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.