PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Deputy Sheriff who died back in 1982 trying to stop two men from robbing a bar in West Philadelphia now has a plaque dedicated in his honor, laid in the sidewalk in front of the Criminal Justice Center.

It’s the 266th Hero Plaque Dedication, but organizer James Binns notes Roy Fortson, Jr. was the first Philadelphia Deputy Sheriff to be killed in the line-of-duty, since the office was founded in 1750.

“He could have taken a pass. The law enforcement officer in him came out and he did engage them, but was shot five times and killed.”

His family is grateful for the recognition, including Fortson’s widow, Edna.

“My heart is overwhelmed. I feel the love that you showed my husband. As a servant of god, he did what he was required to do that night, not knowing that it would be his last.”

Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams says laying the plaque outside the Criminal Justice Center serves as a reminder of the challenges brave officers face, and that “we will never forget a fallen officer.”


Written by Steve Tawa for CBS News on June 1, 2014.

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.

For Helen Clowney, working with and serving the neighbors on her neatly kept, tree-lined block in North Philadelphia has been a labor of love - one that has endured a half-century.

Looking out on the cherry blossoms that brighten the 2200 block of North Woodstock Street, Clowney speaks with pride of the street where she has lived her entire life and served as a block captain for 50 years. She is retiring this spring.

"It's a family block. It's like family. We're very close," Clowney said Thursday.

"If somebody gets sick, everybody steps in and helps," she said. "If they need something, we try to help them get it. It's just a close-knit block."

Last week, Clowney was honored by her neighbors, family, and community leaders at her church, St. Martin de Porres. More than 100 people attended.

Clowney, a widow who doesn't like to discuss her age, said she knew every person living on the block of 70 homes between Susquehanna Avenue and Dauphin Street.

"I can tell you who lives in each house," Clowney said.

And her neighbors know her for her activism, her generosity, and the whistle she blows when calling for them to participate in street cleanups several times a year.

"Miss Helen is one of the icons of this block," said neighbor Paul Richards. "She's going to be sorely missed as our block captain."

When it's time to clean up the block, "she gets out that whistle," Richards said. "She goes from the top of the block, blowing that whistle, and she has a few of the kids knocking on doors."

When the work is done, she gives everyone a treat, Richards said, usually a pretzel and water ice.

He and others said Clowney is known for organizing the street's annual Memorial Day block party.

Another neighbor, Bernice Hines, also recalled Clowney blowing her whistle to call out neighbors for projects.

"She used the whistle to say, 'All you lazy birds, get out here. You're a part of this block. Show your commitment to it,' " Hines said.

Asked what she liked about being a block captain, Clowney said, "It just makes me feel good inside. When we have affairs in the block, we never have any trouble. Everybody is just family."

Clowney noted that she has a cocaptain, Willie Mae Clark, who has worked with her for many years. "She's a very good person, and I think she should be recognized, too," Clowney said.

Clowney, a graduate of Philadelphia High School for Girls who spent her life as a stay-at-home mother with one child, said she enjoyed walking children to school and back home again.

Among her other interests, she said, she enjoys spending time at the Martin Luther King Older Adult Center on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, where she leads a poetry class.

Clowney also likes to cut a few steps doing line dances. She said she enjoys doing the electric slide and the cha-cha slide. "The Baltimore - that's my favorite. They named that one after me," she quipped. "I taught my granddaughter, my son-in-law, and my daughter."

Her son-in-law, Tony Leonard, said Clowney goes to meetings with elected officials in the community and attends monthly meetings with police at the 22d District at 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue. She describes Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, who grew up in the neighborhood, as "two of my kids."

She is pleased that a neighbor, Jannette Robinson, will take over as block captain. Clowney said the street also has three junior block captains, two boys and a girl.

Clowney said she was stepping down because "I thought it was time enough for someone else to step up to the plate and take my place after 50 years."

Hines, her neighbor, stood on her front steps and looked down proudly.

"You see this block and the way it looks. It looks this way because of her," Hines said. "She has worked hard to keep it intact."


Written by Vernon Clark for the Philadelphia Inquirer on May 6, 2014.

AT-RISK YOUTH have voices too, and InLiquid Art and Design has created an exhibition that reflects those voices.

One of them belongs to Harmony Ellerbe, 14, a seventh-grader at Avery D. Harrington School in West Philadelphia.

Harmony, 14, said her art class had inspired her to write "Violence," a poem about a girl who was raped as a child, who lost her father to gun violence, whose brother was jailed and whose mother was addicted to drugs.

One little girl in a life full of violence, watched her dad get shot, seen her brother go to jail. Living in hell.

And that's just the beginning.

"The poem was about something that was going on with my friend in her life," Harmony said. "I felt bad for her and I was thinking about her.

"In art class we talked about violence, and it just came to me."

She read "Violence" to classmates and other artists at a preview of the exhibition yesterday.

The Traveling Youth Art Exhibition - on display until April 30 at Family Court, on Vine Street near 18th - features art by more than 25 girls and boys, each portraying a vision of community and home.

"Art is a really necessary way of expressing yourself, both positively and negatively," said Rachel Zimmerman, executive director of InLiquid, a nonprofit organization on American Street near Master, North Philadelphia.

The exhibition contains work by students at Edison High School, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Guild, the Harrington School and a program of Moore College of Art. Each visual or poetic artist has experienced the criminal-justice system, spent time in detention or been affected by it.

"I do a lot of social-justice art with my students. It gives students a voice," said Leila Lindo, an art teacher at Harrington on, Baltimore Avenue near 53rd Street.

"I like them to do art about topics that are important to them, and a lot of the time the things that are important to them have to do with social justice and their rights."

Lindo said that Harmony's poem shows how art can be therapeutic. The school's display, "My Neighborhood, My Community and Me," features collages that show boys and girls in their communities.

"It gives students the opportunity to open up and lets them know that they don't have to suppress how they feel and show people their artistic abilities," Harmony said of the exhibition.

The Sheriff's Office is sponsoring the exhibition, to support innovative programs that provide second chances to young people, some of whom have been in detention. InLiquid is putting on the exhibition in partnership with the Juvenile Law Center.

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

The exhibition can be seen from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will travel regionally after April.


Written by Ashley Kuhn for the Philadelphia Daily News on April 1, 2014.

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.