Comcast Adds Bodies to Improve Customer Service

Comcast is going to try to fix its customer-service woes the old-fashioned way: By throwing bodies at it.

The company announced Monday it is tripling the size of its “social care team” — the folks who respond to customer complaints via Facebook and Twitter — and equipping them to help solve problems quickly.

“The social care team has access to all the same advanced tools and training as our call center agents do, which means they can quickly jump in to solve problems,” Tom Karnishak, Comcast’s senior vice president for customer services, said in a blog post. “They also have a direct line to our tech teams so they can schedule appointments.”

Other news outlets said the announcement means the social care staff will increase its numbers from 20 to more than 60. Company officials indicated that a number of those new jobs would be created in Philadelphia as part of the initiative. Read more »

Wolf Holds Firm on State Police Nomination

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Gov. Tom Wolf is holding firm in backing Marcus Brown’s nomination to head the Pennsylvania State Police, despite opposition from Republicans and the troopers themselves.

The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association on Monday gave Brown a vote of no-confidnce, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Wolf gave no signs of budging on the issue.

“Again, as I said over the weekend, I nominated him because of his strong background,” Wolf said. “He was a beat cop in Baltimore, he was head of the state police in Maryland and I think he’s a good choice. He has a great background and I would like to see him confirmed.” Read more »

10 Takeaways From the Department of Justice Report on Philly Police

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

There is an “undercurrent of significant strife” between Philadelphia Police and the community they serve, the U.S. Department of Justice reported today.

The federal review — undertaken by the feds at the invitation of Commissioner Charles Ramsey, after reporting showed that police-involved shootings had risen despite an overall drop in the crime rate — found that police training in using less-than-lethal force was inconsistent and, at times, insufficient, and that a “lack of transparency” about such incidents had helped cement distrust in the community.  Read more »

Fundraising On Schedule for Pope’s Visit

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Organizers have raised $30 million of the $45 million needed to host Pope Francis in September, KYW Radio reports.

KYW talked to Dan Hilferty, co-chairman of the World Meeting of Families Philadelphia. “From my perspective, I’d love to see mid-summer to be able to say, ‘okay, we’re finished the fundraising and we’re ready to go,’” Hilferty told the station. “I think it’s difficult to put a firm time line on that.” Read more »

Clarke Wants ShotSpotter Tech for Philly

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Council President Darrell Clarke wants to bring ShotSpotter technology to Philadelphia in an effort to reduce shootings and track shooters.

The technology has been used for more than a year in Camden, where it’s credited with helping police reduce overall violence, and it’s now being rolled out in parts of New York City. The technology uses a series of sensors to detect gunfire and triangulate its location in real time, helping police respond quickly to a shooting scene if need be. Read more »

Eagles Great Chuck Bednarik Has Passed

Former Philadelphia Eagle and Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik sits on the sideline before the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. The Chargers won 33-30. (AP Photo/Brian Garfinkel)

Former Philadelphia Eagle and Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik sits on the sideline before the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. The Chargers won 33-30. (AP Photo/Brian Garfinkel)

Chuck Bednarik — Eagles great, Pro Football Hall of Famer, and the last two-way player in the NFL — has reportedly passed away at age 89. Read more »

Tate-Brown’s Mother Calls for Peaceful Protest

Tanya Dickerson, center, is flanked by Asa Khalif, left, and Brian Mildenberg, right, during a press conference on Thursday. Dickerson's son, Brandon Tate-Brown, was shot to death by police in December; DA Seth Williams announced earier in the day no charges would be filed in the death.

Tanya Dickerson, center, is flanked by Asa Khalif, left, and Brian Mildenberg, right, during a press conference on Thursday. Dickerson’s son, Brandon Tate-Brown, was shot to death by police in December; DA Seth Williams announced earier in the day no charges would be filed in the death.

A day after a protest in her son’s name erupted into a violent skirmish at a community meeting on policing, the mother of Brandon Tate-Brown issued a statement rejecting violence and calling for peaceful protests.

“Ms. Brown-Dickerson rejects all forms of non-peaceful protest,” said the statement issued by Brian Mildenberg, the attorney for Tanya Brown-Dickerson. “Ms. Brown-Dickerson rejects all form of violence. Ms. Brown-Dickerson calls for peaceful protests in the manner of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The statement also called for a toning down of rhetoric directed at Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams. “Any protesters who speak to these public servants disrespectfully are urged to behave with dignity, and to peacefully protest,” it said.

Williams on Thursday announced he would not bring charges against the officers involved in the shooting of Tate-Brown, 26, who died in a December incident. Police said it appeared he was reaching for a gun in his car when the shot him; Tate-Brown’s family disputes that account. Read more »

3 Thoughts From the Mini-Riot at the Policing Town Hall

A Philadelphia Police officer shoves a protester toward the exit, Thursday night at Lawncrest Recreation Center.

A Philadelphia Police officer shoves a protester toward the exit, Thursday night at Lawncrest Recreation Center.

Three thoughts following Thursday night’s mini-riot at the policing town hall at Lawncrest Recreation Center.

1. Brandon Tate-Brown’s family said on Thursday they didn’t want to see any violence erupt as a result of D.A. Seth Williams’ decision to not charge the officers in Tate-Brown’s death. I wish the protesters who showed up at Lawncrest had listened to them. Read more »

WATCH: Protest Over Tate-Brown Shooting Turns Violent at Community Meeting

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Thursday night’s town hall on policing at Lawncrest Recreation Center was scheduled weeks before D.A. Seth Williams announced that he would not bring charges in the killing of Brandon Tate-Brown. But that announcement today assured that emotions would be running high, and just as soon as the meeting opened with the introduction of Commissioner Charles Ramsey, protest broke out. Things escalated from there. The meeting eventually resumed; numerous protesters were reportedly arrested, none requiring medical attention. Read more »

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