Colorful, controversial Philly character turns over new leaf

Jimmy Binns is a man of many titles. “I’m just a neighborhood guy,” says Binns.


Well, that and an attorney who’s represented boxing’s greatest — think Don King and Mike Tyson. He had a part in “Rocky” playing himself as Rocky’s lawyer. He’s the former Pennsylvania Boxing Commissioner.

According to his website, he’s also the Honorary Police and Fire Commissioner of Philadelphia, Honorary Chief of the Lower Makefield, Camden, Margate, Longport, Northfield and Brigantine Police Departments. The Honorary Chief County Detective for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, a sworn Special Assistant District Attorney for Montgomery County… I’ll stop there. Just know: The list goes on. But how did it begin? “It started in the year of 2001 when I was the owner of a small restaurant situated at the southeast corner of 13th at Locust streets,” Binns said. “That’s the corner where police officer Daniel Faulkner was murdered back in 1981.” He didn’t know it, though, until another officer told him.

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“And that gave me the idea to put a plaque there, which I did, and that was the start of the Hero Plaque Program. Last week I dedicated my 255th plaque,” Binns said. Now he wants to add another feather to his cap: he’s applied to the Municipal Police Academy at Delaware County Community College. Not that he wants to be a cop, he says. He just wants more law enforcement training and a better understanding of what officers face. He thinks he’s ready for the challenge.”They have two tests that you have to take before you start,” Binns said. “One is a physical test, and then they have a psychological test.” He’s not worried about either. But someone else is: the school’s director. “He said to me ‘Do you mind my asking how old you are?'” Binns recalled. “And I said ‘No that’s okay I’m 72.’ And he said ‘Well, you know, we have a very rigorous physical test.’ And I said ‘Yeah, I know. I intend to come out first.'”  Binn will take the tests this fall, and if all goes well, start classes in January.

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