The congregation of Holsey Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located at 5305-15 Germantown Ave. paid tribute to Philadelphia Police Department Detective James Sloan during their Sunday morning services on Jan. 4. Sloan is assigned to the Northwest Detective Division, 14th Police District. He was accompanied by Sgt. Paul Brown.
Remarking on the selection of Sloan, The Rev. Arthur S. Green, pastor of Holsey, said “There are some officers who abuse their authority, and we should be outraged. But there are others who go above and beyond the call of duty. What better way to mark the first Sunday of the New Year than to praise the work of those like Detective Sloan who are doing well for the community.”
In the case that made headlines across the country, on the evening of Nov. 3, 2014, Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, a young African-American woman, was violently abducted on Coulter Street while on her way home. The incident occurred a few blocks from Holsey church. Officer Sloan sat in her mother’s kitchen and told her, to rest assured he would find her daughter. Thanks to his dogged determination and persistence and those of police departments around the country, and the FBI, Freeland-Gaither was found safe in Maryland, reunited with her family, and the suspected kidnapper was taken into custody.
As Officer Sloan’s name was called for the special presentation, the church members cheered and gave him and Sgt. Brown a standing ovation. Ennis Mitchell, a longtime church member and retired homicide detective, presented him with a plaque citing his courageous and diligent efforts on behalf of the victim. Mitchell said he was “proud and honored to present this plaque and may God continue to watch over you.”
In accepting the honor, Sloan said to the congregation, “You are a beautiful church with beautiful people. I also want to thank the community for their help.”
Sloan, a 22-year veteran of the police department, is an unassuming man. What he did, he said, was nothing out of the ordinary. “I just did my job, and I like helping people.”