Jack Whelan, Delaware County District Attorney
John J. “Jack” Whelan was elected Delaware County District Attorney in November 2011 and took office in January 2012, for a four-year term. He was re-elected District Attorney in November 2015 to serve a second four-year term.
District Attorney Whelan has been dedicated to criminal justice and law enforcement from the time he was in college, majoring in criminal justice at Temple University, to his term on Delaware County Council where he made public safety a priority. From 1986-1991, he was a Delaware County Assistant District Attorney, serving as a trial team leader. He prosecuted many defendants for capital offenses as well as for other felonies and misdemeanors.
Mr. Whelan is a respected practicing attorney for over 30 years and led the firm of Whelan, Doyle & Pressman LLC in the area of civil litigation, municipal representation, and decedent estates. Before becoming District Attorney, Mr. Whelan served as Chairman of Delaware County Council, which oversees the county government operations that serve the 550,000 residents of Delaware County. He was first elected to a four-year term on County Council in 2005, was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2009 and took the oath office in January 2010.
As Council Chairman, he partnered with the District Attorney’s Office on many crime prevention initiatives, such as the Senior Exploitation Unit and the Safe Schools Summit. In 2010, he helped establish the Delaware County Veterans Justice Initiative with the goal of establishing a Veterans Treatment Court to address the post-service needs of veterans who land in the criminal justice system.
As District Attorney and Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Delaware County, he has taken the lead on many public safety initiatives. Mr. Whelan established the Anti-Violence Task Force with the mission to provide collaborative programs and resources to assist the community in recognizing and reporting violent crimes. Beginning in January 2012 and continuing since, Mr. Whelan expanded the Senior Exploitation Unit, investigating crimes and raising awareness about the illegal schemes perpetrated against seniors.
In September 2012, Mr. Whelan formed the Delaware County Heroin Task Force to raise awareness about the epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse impacting the nation and the county. As chairman of the Heroin Task Force, he has been the driving force behind several opioid prevention and awareness initiatives that have received state-wide recognition. In November 2014, Mr. Whelan was appointed co-chair of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Naloxone Law Enforcement Advisory Group (LEAG). He also serves on the House Resolution 659 Opioid Addiction Advisory Committee.
Mr. Whelan has been honored by several groups for outstanding leadership and public service, including the Delaware County Library System’s Outstanding Public Official Award, and the Delaware County Victims’ Rights Week Award, both presented in the spring of 2009. In 2010, Chairman Whelan received a Child Advocacy Angel Award from CASA Youth Advocates of Delaware County, which provides advocates for neglected and abused children.
In recognition of a personal act of bravery, Mr. Whelan received a Citizenship Award from the Ridley Township Board of Commissioners, recognition by the Delaware County Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, as well as the Citizens Crime Commission Award for Bravery, presented in 2009. In 2011, the Delaware County Chiefs of Police Association honored Mr. Whelan with the George G. Weidner Award, presented for outstanding leadership and support of law enforcement and criminal justice. In 2011, he was given a Special Recognition Award by the Ridley Township Business Association. Mr. Whelan also received a Loyalty Day Award from the Herbert W. Best VFW Post in Ridley Township. In 2012, Mr. Whelan was awarded the David Henderson Humanitarian Award by the Delaware County Leadership Council of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is also the recipient of the Citizen of the Year award by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and 2013 and 2017 Man of the Year award by Police Chiefs’ Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
A graduate of Temple University School of Law, he also has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Temple University. He and his wife Peg live in Ridley Township and have four children.