The year 2014 brought many positive changes to the office, including a trend of progress and technological advancements that have expanded our services and made the office as user-friendly as possible.
We made significant increases in not only the amount of writs satisfied, but the time it takes to have one processed is now down to 15 minutes—an extraordinary accomplishment thanks to our new computing system and advanced training.
Our Defendant Asset Recovery Team (D.A.R.T.) has returned close to $2 million to those owed money from property sold at a sheriff sale, and we even kicked off a radio show—“The Sheriff’s Roundup”—on WURD-AM that airs the first Saturday of every month at 1 p.m.
Our topics have ranged from informing consumers about holiday scams and illegal lockouts and evictions, to how to apply for funds that may be owed from the sheriff sale of a property.
Our presence in the community has increased to include not only workshops and seminars, but also issuing Sheriff Clean Block Certificates to Block Captains across the city in conjunction with the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC).
We also presented special Sheriff Clean Block Awards to the First, Second, and Third Place winners of PMBC’s annual Clean Block Contest.
In our continuing efforts to both serve and educate the public, we’ve created special brochures and handouts that explain everything from what to do when you are faced with an eviction from an apartment or residence that has been ordered sold at sheriff sale.
We also sponsored a series of stories on the changing urban landscape spurred by unprecedented amounts of gentrification that ran as a supplement in the Philadelphia Daily News. It included invaluable information on this office, as well as referrals on grants to maintain your home, modify a mortgage, and even monetary support to help you through a rough period and keep your mortgage payments current.
Towards the end of the year our Bike Unit, under the leadership of Lieutenant Michael Bastone, started a toy drive to benefit children spending their holidays being treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. (CHOP).
The caravan to CHOP included a Sheriff’s Van that normally transports prisoners back and forth from area prisons to court. It was literally filled from top to bottom, back to front, with donated toys.
It was a good way to end the year, and a perfect statement about the kind of commitment to community and duty in which this office has evolved.
I personally look forward to 2015 because we have set a solid foundation for the year by creating the positive momentum in 2014.
Within the next few weeks, the Office of the Sheriff will release new functionality to our website to make it easier to search for Sheriff's Sale properties. Our new Sheriff’s Sale WebApp is an interactive web application that allows you to search for and browse properties for sale, view those properties as a list or on an interactive map, create custom lists that can be saved for future viewing, discover details about particular properties, and easily download the information that you want.
Easily Search for Properties
The Sheriff's Sale WebApp makes it easy to search for properties sold at Sheriff's Sale. You can search for a specific property by its address, book/writ number, or OPA number. You can view all properties being sold at a particular auction. You can also take advantage of the new "Advanced Search" features that allow you to search properties with a variety of parameters including, sale status, range of sale dates, opening bid, and attorney.
Browse Properties as a List or on an Interactive Map
In addition to viewing a simple list of properties being sold at auction, you can also browse properties on an interactive map. That way you can see which properties are for sale in a particular neighborhood. Each property on the map is color coded depending on whether the property is a mortgage foreclosure sale, or a tax sale.
Discover Details about Properties for Sale
By clicking on individual properties, you can view details about that property including sale date, sale type, opening bid, attorney on record, property owner, assessed value, zoning designation, and more. You will even be able to see a "Google Maps Street View" of the property to get a sense of what it looks like.
Add Properties to a "My Favorites" List
After browsing through the properties, you can easily add properties you are interested in to a "My Favorites" list for easy reference. You can download that list and bring it with you to a Sheriff's Sale.
Create and Save Custom Lists of Properties
The Sheriff's Sale WebApp makes it easy to query custom lists of properties across many parameters. By registering for an account, you can save your lists in the app for future reference.
Easily Download Data
Sheriff Jewell Williams is committed to making the Sheriff's Sale process more open and transparent. That's why we made it easy to download the data that you want as a spreadsheet so you can use that information how you want to use it. Any list of data that you pull up in the app can be downloaded with the click of a button.
Members of the Sheriff of Philadelphia's Bike Patrol Unit took to the streets of West Philadelphia to deliver bundles of toys on bikes and a truck that normally transports defendants back and forth to court was overflowing with bags of toys collected over several weeks by the Bike Unit and other employees of the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County. The toys were delivered to the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia for those patients unable to be in their own homes and beds over the holidays.
"We will stop domestic violence," said Sheriff Jewell Williams, "one man and one woman at time." The Sheriff spoke at the 100 Men Rally organized by the Lutheran Settlement House and held at Love Park on Saturday, October 18 in Center City Philadelphia.
The Sheriff urged that people "count to ten" instead of using hands to hurt our women, children or others. "Take a walk around the block, put your hands in your pocket" he said. Punching and bullying won't break the cycle but thinking before you act might. He urged that man or woman who have exhibited abusive behavior or grown up with it "seek help".....we must stop domestic violence, he said.
He urged the use of gun locks to prevent further damage and disruptions to any family.
Jewell Williams, the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County, participated in the Hero Thrill Show on Saturday, September 20th. The mission of the Hero Thrill Show is to raise money to pay for the college tuition of children of Philadelphia Police Officers, Firefighters and Sheriff Officers killed in the line of duty.
Sheriff Jewell Williams Joins Thousands of Others In Support Of the 30th Anniversary of National Night Out
Sheriff Jewell Williams joined several other politicians and dignitaries including Congressman Bob Brady, Mayor Michael Nutter, City Councilman Curtis Jones, members of the band Pieces of A Dream, as well as union officials and dozens of others at the kickoff of the National Night Out activities at 75th & Lansdowne Avenue.
The event on August 4th, 2014, kicked off dozens of other activities held across the city in recognition of the 30th Anniversary of National Night Out which began here in Philadelphia in 1984.
“The significance of National Night Out is much more than people turning on their porch lights, or sitting on their steps”, said Sheriff Williams. “It is a national event that focuses on the spirit and sense of responsibility and accountability that makes a neighborhood worthy of the name, and enhances the quality of life for the individuals living there”.
Sheriff Williams also participated in activities at the Feltonville Boys & Girls Club, Parkside Association of Philadelphia, and the South of South Town Watch organization.
At any given time, and on any given day, it’s not unusual to see people camped out on the sidewalk with a cardboard sign requesting money, or walking around a busy intersection looking for a handout.
According to the signs, some are homeless, while others just need a few coins for something to eat.
They are young and old, black and white, and include even a growing number of veterans in these ranks of the unfortunate.
In my position as Sheriff of the City and County of Philadelphia, it disturbs me to see any one forced to beg and/or sleep on the streets, and especially disturbing when they are veterans who have already sacrificed so much in service to their country.
Statistics say the number of homeless veterans will continue to rise as they return home from places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and any theater of engagement where their lives are under constant threat.
It is troubling on many levels to have served your country honorably as a member of the Armed Forces, only to return to challenges and hurdles that may have arisen as a result of that same service, especially if they were in combat situations.
Among the organizations doing outreach on the street level is the Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) Veterans Program that targets veterans and their families who are either homeless, or are at risk of losing their homes.
The program offers:
Workers in the UESF Veterans Program literally drive around seeking out homeless veterans on the street, and have done intake interviews with homeless individuals as they rest on cardboard mats on the sidewalk.
The organizations motto is a simple one: “Keeping Vulnerable Families in Their Homes”.
So if you know a veteran, the spouse of a veteran, or someone living in the household of a veteran who is homeless or close to losing their home, please pass along the following information.
UESF Veterans Program
Detective Joe Rovnan de la División de Seguridad Nacional del Departamento de Policía de Filadelfia, Director Senior del Servicio de la Prevención del Delito Stacy Irving dél Distrito 'Center City' Filadelfia, y Mayor Inspector Paris Washington Departamento del Alguacil hablaban sobre la importancia de desarrollar un "Plan de Amenaza Vigente" en la reunión del 11 de junio de la Asociación de Gerentes de Condominio en Gran Filadelfia .
Jewell Williams(izquierda), el Alguacil de la ciudad de Filadelfia y el Condado participó en el Día de Carrera en la Escuela Albert M. Greenfield en el centro de Filadelfia, junto con el Capitán Sean A. Toolan (centro) de la Infantería de Marina de la Reserva, quien tiene un hijo allí en el segundo grado, y el ayudante del Alguacil Oficial Marquet Parsons, graduado de Greenfield.
Durante el día, el Alguacil Wiliams habló sobre la importancia de la educación y pronunció un mensaje en contra la intimidación a un jardín de infantes y de clase de quinto grado.
El Alguacil, Jewell Williams Aconseja a los Residentes que Aprovechen las Programas de Asistencia Financiera para Reparaciones en el Hogar
Por fin la primavera ha llegado y sé que muchos se están preparando para hacer reparaciones urgentes y la limpieza del hogar, después de un invierno extremadamente duro.
Algunos tendrán que invertir mucho dinero en reparaciones mayores que involucran techos, aceras, e incluso la eliminación de los árboles y las cercas caídas.
Por aquellos que ya estan en dificultades económicos para mantenerse al día con sus hipotecas, hay varios programas disponibles para ayudar a aliviar la carga financiera de poner su casa en forma.
La Empreza del Desarrollo de la Vivienda de Filadelfia , por ejemplo, cuenta con un Programa de Reparación de Sistemas Básicos que ofrece reparaciones gratuitas a "los sistemas eléctricos, de plomería y la calefacción de viviendas ocupadas por sus propietarios en Filadelfia", así como "reemplazo libre del techo de una casa si importante interior daños tales como un colapso del techo es evidente ".
Se deben cumplir ciertas restricciones de ingreso y otros requisitos con respecto a la residencia, pero sin duda, el programa vale la pena explorarlo, especialmente si usted es una persona mayor que vive con un ingreso fijo.
Asimismo, la Oficina de Apoyo a la Vivienda de la Ciudad tiene un programa de "Rapid Re-Housing" que "puede incluir la asistencia en efectivo con alquiler, servicios públicos y también depósitos de seguridad".
Otro gran recurso es el de Salvar su Casa de Filadelfia Hotline al (215) 334-4663, que lo prepara con un asesor de vivienda si su casa se encuentra en mora. Este es el primer paso para la aplicación de la posible asistencia del Programa de Emergencia de Ayuda Hipotecaria , conocida comúnmente como HEMAP.
También estamos trabajando en la elaboración de una página de recursos en nuestro sitio web que enumera las agencias y programas que le pueden ayudar no sólo a salvar su casa, pero mejorarlo, y posiblemente aumentar su valor.
Como el Alguacil de la Ciudad de Filadelfia y el Condado, he dado instrucciones a mis empleados para aumentar el número de talleres y seminarios que realizamos en la comunidad. Para continuar con nuestras clases dos veces mensuales sobre " Cómo comprar una Propiedad en una venta judicial" presentado en Inglés y Español en el 100 S. Broad Street.
Por último, espero con interés a la visita de las cuadras y los barrios individuales a durante el otoño, para apoyar a la Comité de una Filadelfia Más Bella y los cientos de personas que trabajan tan diligentemente para mantener no sólo sus bienes, sino que la comunidad en su conjunto.