July 20, 2015 |
FOR TOO LONG I have listened, aghast, to stories shared by Dee Cocchia. She's co-executive director of Vision For Equality, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of intellectually disabled folks and their families. If you don't know anyone who has an intellectual disability, your eyes probably just glazed over and you're now turning the page in search of a more exciting read. But if you do know someone with an intellectual disability, Cocchia's stories will be horrifying and, perhaps, familiar.
April 30, 2015 |
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has been through it: A young black man dead at the hands of police, an angry community demanding answers. As his office investigated the December shooting death of Brandon Tate-Brown, a 26-year-old African American, Williams said, he had the man's mother, her attorney, and several clergy members review videotapes and statements in the case. In March, Williams announced that the officers involved would face no charges. Many people were irate.
December 30, 2014 |
Sister Joan Schmal, 82, who was recognized for her work with youth on addiction issues, died Monday, Dec. 22, of cardiopulmonary collapse at Assisi House in Aston. A member of the sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 61 years, Sister Joan was known for her crisis skills in dealing with youth and ran programs for children of alcoholics and for students struggling with drug and alcohol issues at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School in the Franklintown section of the city.
October 15, 2014 |
Darryl L. Coates, 55, an executive who worked to stem the tide of drug abuse and violence among Philadelphia's young people, died Thursday, Oct. 2, of complications from a stroke at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. From 2005 until he became ill in 2012, Mr. Coates was executive director of the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network (PAAN), where he collaborated with city, state, and national officials on intervention strategies. "Darryl led with authority and strength, and served with humility," PAAN said in a statement on its website.
September 20, 2013
WHEN MY BROTHER, who had severe epilepsy, died of a massive seizure at 32, I needed to see a grief counselor. I had been his primary caretaker, and his death hit me hard. I was fortunate to have access to workplace insurance that included quality mental-health services. It's a benefit I have come to really appreciate. But many people don't have access to such care. I was thinking about this as I followed news reports on the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in which 13 people were killed, including the gunman, and several others were injured.
February 13, 2013 |
A 25-year veteran of the Lower Merion Township Police Department was found dead Monday, evidently a suicide. Officer Sean Quinn was found in his car in Franklin D. Roosevelt Park in South Philadelphia. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. "The Lower Merion Police Department wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to Officer Quinn's family and friends, and asks that they be kept in your thoughts and prayers as we all try to come to terms with this tragic event," said Police Superintendent Michael McGrath, who issued an alert Monday morning that Quinn, 46, of Aston, was missing after not reporting for his 7 a.m. shift.
October 3, 2012 |
Delaware County police are being trained as members of a crisis intervention team to help deal more effectively with the mentally ill. Twenty-nine officers are participating in the four-day class held at the Delaware County Emergency Services Training Center in Sharon Hill. The training will attempt to divert those with mental illness from prison into treatment programs. Classes include suicide risk and assessment, working with the homeless, behavioral health issues with older adults, and street level drugs.
January 7, 2010 |
The Philadelphia Police Department has agreed to buy 1,000 Tasers to expand the use of less-than-lethal weapons by officers often called upon to deal with unruly, mentally ill people. The cost, about $850,000, will be paid from a pool of federal stimulus money the city received last year. In total, the department is to receive $1.9 million to buy nonlethal weapons and train officers to use them. The deployment of such weapons has been a priority of Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, who has advocated a training program designed to reduce violent confrontations between police and the mentally ill. In July, officers killed a mentally ill homeless man wielding a box cutter in a Center City concourse.
May 7, 2008 |
Two rookie officers who persuaded a distraught person not to jump from the roof of a four-story building in the Ludlow section of North Philadelphia last month were saluted yesterday by Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. The 26th District's Michael Cermignano, who has been on the job six months, and Domenic Bowes, on the job a year, were given commendations of merit. "We're here today to honor a couple of officers who performed an outstanding job and actually saved the life of an individual," Ramsey said from Police Headquarters, where he read their citations.