Original article by 

The Office of the Sheriff is postponing all tax lien sales and evictions until further notice in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Due to the COVID-19 trauma that is happening, not just in the city but across the entire world, we felt that there need not be any undue hardship to any of the citizens of the city who may be experiencing work-related hardships related to the coronavirus,” Sheriff Rochelle Bilal said.

Bilal petitioned the First Judicial District Court for the relief measure back on March 12. The March 18 tax lien sale was postponed shortly thereafter. Two more tax lien sales scheduled for March 24 and 26 have also been postponed.

Tax sales typically attract hundreds of people. In an effort to reduce the spread of the highly contagious virus, which the World Health Organization has classified as a global pandemic, officials don’t want people to gather in crowds larger than 10 people.

As long as the courts remain closed, the Sheriff’s Office will not serve eviction notices or perform any evictions. The agency will also cease serving bank writs and garnishments of any kind until the courts reopen.

The sheriff’s office will revisit the new policy at the beginning of next month.

 

There are no How To Buy Property at a Philadelphia Sheriff’s Sale seminars scheduled for January 2020. Please check this website for any updates.

 

Thank you for filing your complaint!

Someone from our staff will be in touch with you as soon as possible to address your concerns.

Effective Monday, October 7, 2019, the Real Estate Department and Main Desks of the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office will temporarily move from the 5th to the 15th Floor of the Land Title Building (100 S. Broad Street).


Please enter through the Chestnut Street side of the Land Title Building, between Broad Street and 15th Street. All business transactions will be handled on the 15th Floor until further notice. Our hours of operation remain 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

By Sheriff Jewell Williams
Published : September 11, 2019 in Philadelphia Metro 


Gun Lock
September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month in America. 

Suicide can affect anybody, any family or any workplace. Less than four months ago, the Sheriff’s Office lost a member of our family when Deputy Sheriff Dante Austin took his own life in our office.

 

Dante was a bright, outgoing young man who uplifted his community through service and who was devoted to his colleagues, his family and friends. Nobody would have guessed that he was silently suffering with depression. We mourn his loss with sadness about what continued greatness could have lay ahead for someone so dynamic and driven. 


Research has indicated that in addition to preventing accidental discharge of a firearm by a child, the use of household gun locks can reduce the amount of suicide by adolescents with thoughts of self-harm.


A Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia report showed that 80% of guns used in youth suicide attempts were kept in the homes of parents, relatives or friends and the U.S. General Accounting Office says that about one-third of accidental deaths caused by guns may have been prevented if a gun-lock had been used

Every day, more than 22 veterans across the country die by suicide, with many of them using a gun to do so. A survey of veterans treated for mental health care by the Veteran Health Administration showed that 68 percent would want the VA to offer gun locks to veterans who own firearms


The Sheriff’s Office began to distribute free gun locks in 2016, in hopes of reducing violence, accidental deaths or injuries among children and to deter suicide. We continue to give away gun locks at nearly 100 community events per year. We distributed more than 11,000 in 2018. They are available between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays in our office at 100 S. Broad Street, 5th Floor.


We will have gun locks to distribute at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walk at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Art Museum where a crew of officers and staff from the Sheriff’s Office plan to participate in memory of Dante Austin. You can learn more about the walk at afsp.or


If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

July 26, 2019

PHILADELPHIA- Sheriff Jewell Williams has promoted Deputy Sheriff Jihad Ahmed to become Staff Inspector of Public Affairs and has named Assistant to the Sheriff Karen Smith the Director of Community Outreach.

Smith and Ahmed have long been fixtures at community events throughout Philadelphia, as public liaisons for the office promoting public safety and distributing literature about the functions of the Sheriff’s Office, such as sales of tax-delinquent and foreclosed real estate, serving fugitive and civil warrants, prisoner transportation and securing courthouses including City Hall, the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice, Family Court of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parking Authority Court, Philadelphia Traffic Court, and several other locations.

“We are stepping up outreach as a response to the epidemic of violent crime in our community,” said Sheriff Williams, who praised both Ahmed and Smith. “Taking more guns off the street, helping people make their guns safe by distributing gun locks, will lessen the amount of people getting hurt and also reduce the number of people getting arrested and going through our court system,” Sheriff Williams said.

The Sheriff reminds the public that free gun locks are available in the Sheriff’s Office at 100 S. Broad Street on the 5th Floor from 8:30 to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Representatives from the Sheriff’s Office will appear at a multitude of upcoming events, such as Philadelphia’s Public Safety Awareness Month National Night Out Kick-Off Rallies including: Monday, August 5, at Fairhill Square Park at (4th and Lehigh), Target Shopping Center (7400 Bustleton Avenue) and Malcolm X Park (5100 Pine Street); Tuesday, August 6, at the Masjidullah, Inc. (7401 Limekiln Pike) and Evans Recreation Center (53rd & Parkside) and an Asian-American Gun Safety Forum on Wednesday, August 7 at 701 Porter Street.

June 7, 2019

Update: Funeral arrangements for Deputy Sheriff Dante Austin have been released:

A viewing will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2019 at the Church of St. Luke & The Epiphany (330 S. 13th Street) where a Celebration of Life Service will follow at Noon.

Burial will take place at Forest Hills Cemetery in Huntingdon Valley, PA.

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We are saddened by the sudden loss of Deputy Sheriff Dante Austin.

“This is a tragedy for the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Austin’s family and the local LGBTQ community,” said Sheriff Jewell Williams.

“Dante was a person who believed in and cared about everybody,” Sheriff Williams said. “He had the highest score on the Deputy Sheriff’s exam when he was hired in November 2013. He was our first openly gay deputy sheriff and we promoted him to become our first LGBTQ community liaison in May 2017. Dante was scheduled to be promoted to Sergeant on July 1, 2019.”

Deputy Austin, who was 27, previous served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

We have coordinated with the Managing Director’s Office to provide grief counselors for our employees and out of respect for Deputy Austin, the Sheriff’s Office will close at noon today.

 

Congratulations to our newest Deputy Sheriff Officers, who were sworn-in Monday by Sheriff Jewell Williams.

This class of officers is named in honor of late Sheriff’s Office Inspector Michael Saia.

These six deputies are the first of nearly 50 new officers being hired by the Sheriff’s Office this year. The next group of deputies will be sworn-in in June.

Sheriff Williams is pictured along with the new deputies as well as Chief Inspector Jennifer Algarin-Barnes and Deputy Chief Paris Washington.

Sheriff Jewell Williams displayed 70 firearms seized this week from one household when a protection from abuse order was served upon an individual in Philadelphia.

“We have taken over 70 guns out of a household where a protection from abuse order was served. We are a 24/7 operation. We protect the community by taking these weapons off the street,” said Sheriff Jewell Williams.

“I want to thank the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s Office for being great allies in getting guns off the street from dangerous offenders in Philadelphia,” said Mike Gallagher, police liaison for Women Against Abuse.

Williams and Gallagher spoke alongside a display of firearms.

This massive haul from one individual represents a fraction of the weapons the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for securing.

Recently, Act. 79, Pennsylvania House Bill 2060 went into effect which changed the rules governing the surrender of firearms and other weapons by people served with Protection from Abuse orders. More weapons will now be surrendered to law enforcement, and the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office is the primary custodian of weapons surrendered or seized.

Inventoried weapons are secured by the Sheriff’s Office and may be returned to the owner following a court order authorizing the individual to retrieve their firearms.