Sheriff Jewell Williams and Philadelphia City Council President Darell L. Clarke have been promoting the use of gun locks over the past several weeks as part of their joint gun lock safety initiative, #GotAGunGetALock, to help avoid tragedies like this:


Two-year-old Benjamin Smith told his father he was going to watch Winnie the Pooh. He went into a bedroom to turn on the TV. A few minutes passed.

Then, a bang.

The boy, police said, picked up a .45 caliber handgun that his father kept loaded on a nightstand and accidentally shot himself. He died just before midnight Sept. 12.

On Wednesday, the father, Nicholas Wyllie, 26, of Quakertown, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, and recklessly endangering another person. He was arraigned at District Court in Perkasie.

"This is a terribly tragic death, and the worst part about it is it was 100 percent avoidable," Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub said outside the courtroom.

Click here to learn more about Sheriff Jewell Williams's gun lock program.

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke and Sheriff Jewell Williams will appear together Sunday morning, September 25th at 11:30 a.m. on NBC 10 @ issue, a weekly news show that immediately follows "Meet The Press".  The two will discuss their joint "Got a Gun.  Get a Lock!" campaign that seeks to reduce incidents of accidental shootings, especially among children, by securing guns with gun locks given away free of charge, no questions asked.

Sheriff Jewell Williams recently named Deputy Sheriff Officer Robert Hunisch the Military Affairs Liaison for the sheriff’s office as part of its ongoing efforts of community outreach and education.

“Many veterans are returning from long campaigns overseas,” said Sheriff Williams, “and may have issues involving deeds, keeping up with mortgage payments, or looking to buy a property through a sheriff’s sale. We want to make sure they receive all the information necessary to aid in their readjustment”.

DSO Hunisch, who currently lives in South Philadelphia, served in Guantanamo Bay guarding some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, and is an 8-year Army veteran who currently serves in the reserves.

“There are so many veterans out there who can use the help we are trying to provide,” he said, “and I can’t stress enough how important these outreach efforts are to helping soldiers get back to a normal life”.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are approximately 50,000 veterans nationwide who are homeless, and those veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are among the highest number of individuals who are losing their homes to foreclosure and/or taxes.

“We already sponsor numerous workshops and seminars to educate people on how to keep your home as well as how to purchase a home and it’s our goal to get as much of this information out as possible”, said Sheriff Williams, “and dedicated deputies like Hunisch are helping us do just that”.

For more information contact Joseph Blake at 215-495-4174.

Published by The Philadelphia Sun.

Angel Lee was pregnant when she moved to the LGBTQ Home for Hope in North Philadelphia nearly six months ago. A man who refused to believe her sexual orientation had raped her.

She decided to keep the baby, whom she delivered this past Tuesday, naming her Sky Sakina Barnes Lee.

Before giving birth, Lee shared her story Sept. 1 with eight representatives from the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office. They had come to the shelter on North Hutchinson Street to celebrate its one-year anniversary.

In that time, the home has hosted city, state and federal officials. It’s the first shelter for LGBT homeless people in Philadelphia.

Deputy Sheriff Dante Austin, one of two LGBT liaisons in the sheriff’s office, organized the anniversary visit. John Hodges, a civilian employee and the other LGBT liaison, also attended.

“I really want these officers to get to know the community,” Austin, an openly gay deputy, told the residents, “not in a cell and not in a courtroom. These statistics and these definitions are nice, but if they don’t know you, they won’t care.”

After Lee shared her story, the officers brought in bundles of baby supplies. Lee held back tears0 and, while posing for photos later, she joked, “I’m actually touching a cop without getting in trouble.”

Lee will have to leave the Home for Hope now that she has given birth. The shelter is not equipped to house an infant, officials said. She’s not sure yet where she will move. But she said she would still visit the residents.

“We’re a family here,” said Anya Martin, who has lived at the home for a year.

At the hour-long celebration, several residents shared their coming-out stories and experiences with law enforcement. Austin also talked about how the sheriff’s deputies had supported the LGBT community in the field.

For each person living in the Home for Hope, 38 officers sponsored 38 bags of donations. They included sheets, pillows and blankets, along with an array of toiletries. Austin also asked each officer to write a personalized note to the resident who would receive each bag. He included a statement from Sheriff Jewell Williams and a description of the work he’s doing as LGBT liaison.

Chief Sheriff Deputy Kevin Lamb said the office is so much more educated about the LGBT community because of Austin.

Deja Lynn Alvarez, director of the Home for Hope, said she was happy to have the sheriff’s office representatives spend time at the shelter and get to know the residents.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s been a year,” she said, “with no real financial backing.”

Donations cover the expenses, which Alvarez said in July can run $8,000-$9,000 a month.

“It really sets in like, we’re still here, we’re still full,” Alvarez continued. “Our first year has been difficult. I feel like our second year will be better.”

Sakina Dean, the owner of the Home for Hope, said she’d like to purchase the 15-bedroom, nine-bathroom former convent. Its current owner, Northstar Manor Inc., has agreed to a price of $250,000, which is half of the place’s market value, according to Philadelphia property records.

Standing out front, facing the large side yard, Dean pointed out where she would eventually like to see a youth shelter and affordable housing. Alvarez would like to get experts to offer workshops on life coaching and personal finances.

“It has been a journey,” Dean said of the Home for Hope’s first year. “Through faith and through our mission, I believe it’s going to continue to be a success.”

For more information or to support the home, visit

Written by Paige Cooperstein for the Philadelphia Gay News.

La Oficina del Sheriff, en colaboración con el Presidente del Consejo Municipal Darrell Clarke, están comprometidos con la distribución de seguros de armas a los propietarios de armas en Filadelfia para promover prácticas seguras de contención de armas de fuego y evitar accidentes con armas, robo y uso indebido.

El tema obligado de "tiene un arma? Obtener un bloqueo "está resonando con muchas personas que están solicitando cerraduras-No Gun-preguntas hechas por la Oficina del Sheriff de Filadelfia ciudad y el condado.

"Es muy bueno que estamos recibiendo este tipo de respuesta", dijo el alguacil Jewell Williams. "La razón número uno nos hemos unido con el Presidente del Consejo Municipal Darrell Clarke y la oficina del fiscal de distrito es conseguir cualquier arma de fuego en una casa cerrada con llave por razones de seguridad".

Desde la campaña de bloqueo de la pistola se inició en la Universidad Temple a principios de este mes, ha habido varios eventos, incluyendo una marcha por la paz en relación con la liberación Iglesia Evangelista en el 23 y la avenida de Lehigh, en la que el sheriff y otros funcionarios elegidos entregados literalmente arma sí encierra ".

"Es importante que las personas que ven el liderazgo en un papel de liderazgo", dijo el concejal Clarke recientemente en el "El Rodeo", el programa mensual de radio conducido por Sheriff Williams el WURD.

Para recibir un bloqueo de la pistola, puede recoger una en la recepción de la oficina del alguacil en la 5ª planta de 100 S. amplia calle entre las 8:30 am y las 4:30 pm, o llame a nuestro número de la línea en 215-686 -3572. Deje su nombre, número y dirección y alguien de la oficina del alguacil será rápidamente en contacto con usted.

"Transportamos más de 500 personas por día ida y vuelta entre los tribunales y las prisiones," dijo el Sheriff Williams, "y muchos están acusados ​​de delitos relacionados con armas de fuego. Antes de la ira llega a un punto de alcanzar para un arma de fuego, en caso de que el arma está en una cerradura, se proporciona al menos un par de segundos para que un individuo cambia de opinión acerca de disparar el arma, y ​​hace que sea casi imposible despedir si lo encuentra, y manejado por un niño. Tiene una pistola-obtenga un bloqueo ".

Un proyecto de ley fue promulgada recientemente por el Ayuntamiento titulado la "responsabilidad de evitar la posesión y descarga de armas de fuego por los niños" acto (introducido por el Presidente del Consejo Clarke) que requiere que todas las armas de fuego en los hogares con niños menores de 18 años de estar descargadas y almacenadas en un recipiente cerrado con llave, con las municiones en un recipiente cerrado con llave por separado. La excepción sería cuando el arma de fuego o munición se encuentra en el "control inmediato" de una persona con una licencia para portar un arma de fuego.