Jerry L. Sanders, Jr. is the 63rd sheriff of Delaware County. Sheriff Sanders is the first Democrat and the first African American elected to that position. He brought to the job his years of experience in the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office, where he rose from Deputy Sheriff to Chief Inspector, overseeing the Sheriff’s Civil and Criminal Divisions, Court Security (Traffic Court, Family Court, Center for Criminal Justice). He also brought to the Delco Sheriff’s Office his formal training, including a M.S. in Organizational Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University.
Speaking at Delaware County Council meeting in 2019, Sanders explained that, under Republican rule, Delco’s deputy sheriff wages ranked among “the lowest of the low” in Pennsylvania. Sanders worked cooperatively with the new County Council to raise sheriffs’ wages to $15/hour. This increases the pool of candidates for deputy sheriff positions in Delco and improves employees, morale longevity in the department. Sheriff Sanders advocacy for a wage increase for deputies was the catalyst for County Council authorizing a compensation study for all Delaware County employees.
When Sanders became Delco Sheriff in 2017, there were no black deputies in the department and no women in supervisory roles. Female deputy’s leadership qualifications are now acknowledged and rewarded with promotions. By making diversity a priority in hiring, Sheriff Sanders has shaped a department that looks more like the community it serves. Under his leadership, the Sheriff’s Office now reaches out to youth in the community to educate them about what the department does and to encourage young people to consider a career in law enforcement.
Delco’s Sheriff’s Office is one of only five departments among Pa.’s 67 counties to earn Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAAC) accreditation based on record-keeping, professional standards, and transparency with the public – all measures that Democrats highly value in our law enforcement agencies.
Sanders serves on criminal justice boards, associations, committees, and subcommittees.
- National Sheriff’s Association
- Pennsylvania Sheriff’s Association, Legislative Committee
- Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5
- Delaware County Police Chief Association
- Delaware County Criminal Justice Advisory Board
- Delaware County Jail Oversite Broad
- Delaware County Substance Abuse & Recovery Task Force – Chairman- Subcommittee – Criminal Justice
- Delaware County Reentry Coalition – Chairman – Subcommittee – Vision/Mission
Sheriff Sanders has deep roots in Philadelphia where he grew up and where he still serves as an Associate Minister at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in SW Phila. and is former Chaplain of Deer Meadows Retirement Community in NE Phila. Sanders is President of Reba Brown Senior Residence, Board of Trustees in SW Phila. He serves as a member and past President of the Board of Trustees at the Baptist Home Foundation. He is a member and past President of the Advisory Council of Friendship Circle Senior Center in Darby, Pa. (where he plays on the pool team). Jerry and his wife, Juanita have resided in Delaware County for 26 years. They live in Drexel Hill and are the proud parents of six children and eight grandchildren.