Sheriff-elect Bilal begins her transition

Sheriff-elect Rochelle Bilal last week announced her transition team.

Rochelle Bilal

Bilal, whose transition team includes former City Controller Jonathan Saidel, plans to implement policies and procedures to improve the efficiency and engagement of the more than 400 employees of the department. She plans to establish standards that lead to safety, accountability and a positive, productive work environment.

Bilal, a 27-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, serves as secretary of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP and as president of the Guardian Civic League, the association of black police officers in Philadelphia. As an officer, she taught recruits at the Philadelphia Police Training Center and served in the Special Victims Unit and on the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas task force.

“My years of service with these historic and impactful organizations in the city of Philadelphia have equipped me to successfully operate as the sheriff of our city on day one,” Bilal said. “I will continue to strive to serve, protect and empower people.”

Bilal expects to meet with outgoing Sheriff Jewell Williams to establish a strong and successful transition that ensures productive operations in the department. She anticipates full cooperation from current leadership and staff within the department to assist her transition team and help establish plans for the first 100 days of her administration.

Bilal easily won the Democratic primary, defeating Sheriff Jewell Williams and two others, and was elected unopposed in November to a four-year term. She plans to focus on fairness in foreclosures and evictions, reforming the office, and advocacy to prevent gun violence.

“Before we can change our relationship with the citizens of Philadelphia, we must make changes and reform ourselves,” she said. “The badge should not push people away, but make people feel safe. I want children and seniors and everyone to respect our officers. And likewise, our officers must and will respect the citizens of this city.” ••