Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams says he needs 100 more men and women to staff courtrooms, especially with the new family court building near completion.
“The sheriff’s office is in desperate need of those deputies,” he said. “God forbid if we had a major incident, we could not help all the people we would want to help. Unless we get the additional bodies, I will put this on public notice. It would be a very disastrous incident if we don’t have the bodies and the trained personnel.”
Even though cell phones are used to snap photos as a way of intimidating witnesses, Williams says he had to reassign deputies tasked with holding cell phones at the courthouses.
But meeting the need for adequate staffing is still an uphill battle, the sheriff says.
“We’re stretching it as much as we can to patrol, because we are getting so many problems of witnesses getting intimidated between our courthouses,” he said.
The sheriff hopes additional funding will come through the budget process this year.