2016 ANNUAL REPORT

The Office of the Sheriff is the enforcement agency of the Philadelphia Court system. The Sheriff transports and guards prisoners, enforces warrants, and secures seven Court buildings and everyone who uses those facilities. The Sheriff also conducts judicial sales of property as ordered by the Courts. In this capacity, the Sheriff is the largest collector of delinquent city taxes and fees. Court orders concerning the confiscation of weapons, protection from domestic abuse and orders concerning property and human rights are executed by the Sheriff‘s Deputies. Finally as fully certified law enforcement officers, Deputy Sheriffs take on special assignments on behalf of the City and County of Philadelphia.

PROTECTING THE COURTS AND THE PUBLIC

  • 93,750 prisoners transported and protected.
  • Warrant Unit Deputies now certified by the State.
  • 4,412 Warrants served and arrests made.
  • Plan to Secure City Hall
  • Sheriff’s Bicycle Patrols Expanded to 14 Units

The Sheriff is responsible for transporting and guarding prisoners outside of their assigned jail or prison. In 2016, none of 93,750 prisoners in the Sheriff’s custody escaped. The Philadelphia’ Sheriff’s Office remains one of America’s best operated security and prisoner transport systems.

In 2016, the Sheriff’s Office finished absorbing and training the forty (40) person Warrant Unit. At the request of the City and Court System, the Sheriff took over the unit in 2015, and a year later 4,412 arrests were made by Deputies and Warrant Officers enforcing warrants. Arrests for non-payment of child support reached 908 and 640 arrests for protection of abuse cases were made.

Under the Sheriff, warrant officers are now being certified by the State at Penn State University. The Sheriff intends for the Warrant Officers to be a potential pool of experienced applicants as Deputy Sheriff positions open up.

With the support of the Administration and the Courts, the Sheriff initiated stronger security measures in City Hall. Currently the thirty four (34) City Hall courtrooms, Council facilities and other city-county offices are protected by a small private guard service. City Hall and the people who use it require better protection.

Fully securing City Hall will require thirty five (35) additional Deputy Sheriffs. These positions were added to the current operating budget with a plan to pay for them without using tax money. The Sheriff proposed, and the Mayor and Council agreed to raise fees for Sheriff’s services. These fees have not been adjusted in over twenty years. A discussion of the status of this effort is continued below.

During his first year in Office in 2012, the Sheriff created a three (3) unit bicycle squad to patrol parameters of the courts and swiftly move Deputies between trouble spots. Because of the success of these units, the number of bicycles has increased to fourteen (14) bikes.

Also 2013 the Sheriff created a three (3) dog K9 unit to provide protection and additional specialized detection services. The K9 units are also successful and their operations have been extended to special events in the City.

The Sheriff’s Office was fully involved with the security surrounding Pope Francis’ visit to the City and the Democratic Convention. In addition to protecting City court facilities, Sheriff’s Deputies provided crowd control and arrestee transport.

Deputies were ordered to provide peace keeping patrols during two labor disputes during the past year. Because participants in such disputes are responsible for the cost of the Sheriff’s service, this activity generated $454,000 in additional revenue to the City.

In 2016 the Philadelphia Bar Association awarded the Sheriff’s Office the Hank Czajkowski Award for its professionalism and outstanding contribution to the administration of justice.

SERVING THE TAXPAYER

  • $64 million in delinquent taxes and fees collected for the City.
  • 27800 properties put in Sheriff Sales
  • 7026 properties sold
  • Five Sales now held each month
  • Time to obtain a deed after a Sale reduced from 120 to as little as 15 days.
  • 35 seminars and 177 community meetings
  • 2,500 Free gun locks distributed
  • $1.2 million in new deed preparation revenue generated for the City

The Sheriff conducts five monthly auctions of properties for non-payment of taxes or mortgages. Initiated by the City or the lender, Sheriff Sales are conducted by Court Order so that the bidder, the lender and the debtor, are fairly treated.

In 2016 the Sheriff sold 7,026 properties, returning $64 million in delinquent taxes and fees to the City and its agencies. This is an increase of $37 million since the Sheriff assumed office, when in 2012 only $27 million was collected and transferred to the City.

Sheriff Sales do more than collect delinquent taxes and fees for the City, since they convert unproductive properties into tax producing homes and businesses. The time required to sell a property and prepare a new deed is important to the buyer. In 2013 it took up to one hundred and twenty (120) days or more before a sold property was deeded over to its new owner.

In 2016 the average time a purchaser waited for a deed after final payment was fifteen (15) days.

To reduce the backlog of properties scheduled for delinquent and tax sale, the Sheriff has added an additional monthly tax delinquency sale, bringing the total to five a month.

To relieve burdening the taxpayer with the cost of preparing Sales, the Sheriff’s staff now prepares deeds of properties sold at Sheriffs Sales. Instead of paying a private title company to prepare the deeds, over $1 million in deed preparation costs is paid to the City.

On behalf of the City, the Sheriff charges fees for various services such as writ service or weapons confiscation. Because these fees have not been adjusted in twenty years, City Council increased them in 2016. The increased revenue will go toward hiring thirty five Deputies to secure City Hall. However as noted above, the City Law Department opposed the increase and refused to defend the City against any challenge to the increase.

The Sheriff is prepared to implement the new fees and secure City Hall as soon as the dispute with the Law Department is resolved.

To make the Sheriff’s Sale procedure open to everyone, the Sheriff conducted twenty four English and eleven Spanish language seminars on how to take part in Sheriff Sales.

As part of his community outreach program, the Sheriff has participated in 177 community meetings. Each month the Sheriff hosts a radio program on WURD FM to discuss court and community issues. The estimated audience is over 6,500.

To promote gun safety and prevent accidental shootings by children, the Sheriff has distributed 2,500 free gun locks.

TECHNOLOGY

  • Management system upgraded.
  • 195,000 access Sheriff’s website.

Effectively scheduling and managing three hundred (300) deputies, fortyeight civilian employees, and 26,000 Sheriff Sale properties requires specialized computer operations. In 2013 the Sheriff installed a new computer system (the Judicial Enforcement Writ Execution Legal Ledger) that has been enhanced each year. J.E.W.E.L.L may be the most productive computer system in Philadelphia government.

In 2016, to schedule the forty (40) person warrant unit, a special module was added to the system, to monitor and schedule the warrant officers as they work throughout the city. The new module tracked over 6,600 warrants in 2016.

While computer systems are often allowed to age in place, the Sheriff has required a continuous upgrade of servers, switches and firewalls as well as improved disaster recovery protection.

In 2016 the Sheriffs website was visited by 195,000 visitors looking for information about the Sheriff’s operations. The Sheriff’s website provides detailed information and costs about each property. The most popular feature is information including maps and photographs on each listing and the status of properties as they complete the sales process up to deed recording.

DEFENDANTS ASSET RECOVERY TEAM

  • $2.2 million refunded to people owed money in 2016.
  • Over $10 million refunded since the Sheriff’s effort began.

Upon taking office, the Sheriff sought out former property owners who were owed money from the sale. Quite often a winning bid exceeded the amount of debt on a property sold as Sheriff Sale. In the past no effort was made to turn the extra proceeds over to the previous owner. The Sheriff established the Defendants Asset Recovery Team (D.A.R.T.) to find those owed money. In 2016 D.A.R.T. returned $2.2 million, bringing the total refunded since 2012 to over $10 million.

This article was written in English. To translate, please visit http://translate.google.com.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The sendoff is strong. The connection to the mission is even stronger.

For 21 days, four men from the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office will be in Puerto Rico helping with disaster relief.

Inspector Michael Bastone, Sergeant Joshua Perez, and Deputy Sheriff Officers Alessandro Carrasquillo and Enrique Marin each have ties to Puerto Rico.

“Words cannot explain the devastation,” Bastone said.

From Philadelphia, they watched helplessly as Hurricane Maria ravaged the island and have still been unable to reach some family members there.

After seeing that footage, Bastone, the office’s highest ranking Hispanic deputy, went directly to Sheriff Jewell Williams, who immediately gave the green light to send a team.

“These deputies’ input can save a life,” Williams said, “and that’s what this is about.”

With no place to stay and essential services like water and electricity scarce at best, Bastone says they have no idea what to expect.

“It’s definitely going to be a hardship for all of us,” he said. “It’s something we’ve never experienced. But we’re going out there and we’re going to do the best we can for our people.”

All four men have commercial driver’s licenses and were told they will be running essential supplies to hard hit, hard to reach locations.

“There will be days without bathing. There will be days without eating. We need to prepare with protein bars, with enough under clothes for the whole 21 days we’ll be out there deployed,” Bastone said. “And all this packing has to be in one bag, so you can only imagine how much we’re trying to get out there to survive.”

The group leaves on Sunday. Sergeant Joshua Perez is also making the trip to the city of Rio Piedras.

“It’s almost to the point where you have to question yourself whether or not you’re going into a safe environment, into a safe condition. But you have to look at the bigger picture. There are people who need our help. These are our people, these are American citizens that need us,” Perez said. “Medical supplies are very scarce. A lot of the barrios and a lot of the areas aren’t receiving the aid that they need.”

And though they’ll leave comfort behind, they hope to bring much healing and hope.

“Three weeks later we get to come home. But they still have to live there and deal with all of the devastation of the hurricane,” Perez said. “For me, it’s very heartfelt. I can’t even put into words how I feel. I just feel like it’s meant to be and I feel obligated to help my people as much as possible.”

Deputies Alessandro Carrasquillo and Enrique Marin are also making the trip.

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/10/14/4-philly-sheriffs-deputies-heading-to-puerto-rico-for-hurricane-relief-effort

La Oficina del Sheriff de Filadelfia reveló el viernes las directrices sobre cómo los diputados deben tratar con personas transgénero, de usar el pronombre correcto - él, ella, ellos - a preguntar si prefieren ser buscados por un diputado masculino o femenino.

"Se trata de justicia y tratar a la gente de la manera en que quieren ser tratados", dijo Sheriff Jewell Williams.

Su oficina tiene cerca de 300 diputados que transportan a los sospechosos de los centros de detención a los tribunales, procesan a las personas que son despreciadas por un juez, y arrestan a las personas por órdenes pendientes.

Como parte de las directrices, los individuos recién procesados ​​que se identifican como transgénero pueden enumerar en una forma su preferencia por un diputado masculino o femenino para buscarlos. Los diputados también se espera que llame a los individuos por su nombre preferido, incluso si es diferente de la de su identificación emitida por el gobierno.

La nueva política de transgénero es similar a la utilizada por la policía de Filadelfia.

Williams dijo que los diputados a veces se encuentran con personas transgénero a diario. Las personas de color transgénero son particularmente propensas a tener que lidiar con la aplicación de la ley, dijo Deja Lynn Alvarez, una activista transgénero que se unió a Williams para anunciar las directrices el viernes en el Ayuntamiento.

"Mucha gente no se da cuenta de que, para la comunidad trans, el porcentaje de nosotros tener que lidiar con el departamento del sheriff en un nivel u otro, o una vez u otra, es mucho mayor que el ciudadano promedio de Filadelfia", agregó. Dijo Álvarez. "En algún momento, vamos a tener que lidiar con la aplicación de la ley."

Alvarez calificó las pautas como "increíbles para nuestra comunidad".

Ser transgénero significa identificarse con un género diferente al que ha nacido. Algunas personas optan por la cirugía para hacer una transición, pero no es necesario, ni la terapia hormonal, lo que daría lugar a un proceso más gradual.

Publicada: 6 de octubre de 2017 - 1:24 PM EDT

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/philadelphia/transgender-policy-philadelphia-sheriff-office-20171006.html

There probably is no perfect scenario when a property is listed, by court
order, for a Sheriff Sale. Most often it means a family may be losing their
home for a variety of reasons, often because of illness, job loss or other
situations that may be out of their control.

One benefit to Philadelphia residents is that the majority of new buyers that
purchase property at Sheriff Sales pay real estate taxes and keep them
current according to a sample review undertaken by the Philadelphia
Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Jewell Williams sought to determine the degree that properties
subjected to Sheriff Sale by order of the First Judicial District become and
remain tax compliant. The Sheriff’s Office reviewed the tax status of all
properties sold at the mortgage foreclosure, tax delinquent, and tax lien
sales for the months of November 2016 and November 2015.
City records indicate that 344 or 73% of the 469 properties sold in
November 2016 were current on their city 2017 real estate property tax.
That is a significant boost to the city revenue stream.

Tax records indicate that only 316 of the 471 properties sold in November
2015 were compliant in paying real estate taxes for 2016 and 2017. From
that small sampling we are able to see that 660 properties returned to
being tax compliant and current after years of dereliction of obligation to the
city and the school district.

In addition to recovering private and public debts, the purpose of the Sheriff
Sale is to return tax delinquent properties to the tax rolls. Because tax
delinquent properties receive city services such as police and fire
protection and trash pickup they are a burden to the City and often a blight
to its neighborhood.

In Pennsylvania the Sheriff Sales are the last step in the process to collect
delinquent debts including taxes and utility fees. Properties are brought to
Sheriff Sale through the courts requested by lenders and taxing authorities
who are owed money. If the owner does not make arrangements to satisfy
the debt, the property is sold at a court ordered public auction handled by
the Sheriff. The purchaser is expected to pay real estate and other city and
county obligations going forward and must be tax compliant with the city for
one year prior to the purchase.

The goal of this analysis was to get a sense of how many properties sold
through a Philadelphia Sheriff sale returned to fulfilling tax obligations.

In this morning's 6-2 Supreme Court decision, the crime of reckless domestic violence and abuse is now considered a misdemeanor that justifies firearms possession restriction. What does that mean? It means closing one of the many gaping loopholes in gun control legislation and cracking down on violent domestic crime. Most importantly, it means safer homes for those most at risk: women (especially women of color), LGBTQ+ folks, and children.

The Voisine v. United States decision extended the previous ruling in United States v. Castleman that declared the “firearms possession by convicted felons” illegal. So why wasn’t this a thing before?

On the books, there’s a distinction between recklessly and knowingly committing a crime, known as mens rea—their state of mind during their actions. Stephen Voisine, the man in question in this case for repeatedly becoming violent against his girlfriend, argued in court that actions charged as reckless shouldn’t be considered under the umbrella of crimes that would prevent him from buying a gun.

Virginia Villa, Voisine’s defender, argued that recklessness doesn’t necessarily constitute a “use of force.” This puts in perspective why this pretty big issue hasn't been put in the books before. She explained that she once had a client who plead guilty to a misdemeanor because he was running away from someone attacking him, and when he ran through a door and slammed it, it caught and broke the attacker’s fingers. Um, comparing a drunken assault on someone to an escape measure? I don't think so.

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wasn’t having this excuse either, and shot back remarks that almost closed the case right then. While in Villa’s example, the client didn’t mean to hurt the man running after him, he still did. In many domestic violence cases, Kagan explained, reckless conduct between the perpetrator and victim is what leads to violence—not the use of direct violent force. Tell 'em, girl! 

Basically, the Court decided it was time to validate all the domestic violence that happens while the perpetrator is under the influence and otherwise in a volatile state that causes their actions to be executed recklessly. This is a win for feminism, equality in the home, and in finally making movements on reigning in this country’s insane, libertarian approach to gun-owning.

Yeah, it's about time.

If you want to listen to more of the case, here's a video of the whole ordeal—with dogs instead of justices (no cameras are allowed to film Supreme Court case proceedings).

Original Article via Bust: http://bust.com/living/16586-another-feminist-win-from-the-supreme-court.html

Sheriff de Philadelphia Jewell Williams y el personal participaron en el esfuerzo de toda la ciudad National Night Out el 31 de julio y el 1 de agosto en 8 lugares entregando Free Gun Locks e información adicional sobre lo que hace la Oficina y cómo comprar propiedades en Sheriff Sales.

Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams and staff participated in the National Night Out city-wide effort on July 31 and August 1 at 8 locations by handing out Free Gun Locks and additional information on what the Office does and How To Buy Property at Sheriff Sales.