Chester sees dramatic reduction in gun violence and deadly shootings

First Trenton and now Chester is reducing gun violence, and their drop is 60 percent.

City, county, state and federal leaders shared the results of the Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods (CPSN) since it launched in 2020.

  • There has been a 59.7% decrease in non-fatal shootings since 2019 (87 to 35)
  • There has been a 60% decrease in gun violence homicides since 2020 (25 to 10)
  • There has been a 55% decrease in gun violence incidents since 2019 (100 to 45)

CPSN is composed of public agencies, community groups and law enforcement all sharing the common goal of curbing gun violence.

"If you commit a homicide in the City of Chester, we are going to get you. If you fire a gun at somebody in the City of Chester, we are coming for you," said Jack Stollsteimer, Delaware County District Attorney.

Chester currently has a 70 percent homicide clearance rate, which is the highest in over 20 years, of murders ending in arrests.


DA Stollsteimer said law enforcement is zeroing in on individuals who are most likely to shoot or be shot to prevent crime and offer services.

"Anybody who is actually in law enforcement and who understands what we’re doing here, gets that this is the only proactive strategy there is to actually stop gun violence. They just need to bite the bullet and do it in the City of Philadelphia and that would help the whole regional problem, by the way," said Stollsteimer.

Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland said crime prevention and quality of life investments also make a difference, including additional city cameras and bright LED streetlights.

"Our goal is to make sure that no one loses their life to any type of violence in our community," said Mayor Kirkland.

The nonprofit Making a Change Group is a stakeholder in CPSN. The founder and executive director Cory Long has been mentoring youth in Chester for nearly 20 years.

"We’re starting to see the fruits of our labor with a safer community and homicide rates down, which for me, is very personal," said Long, a Chester native. "I know these parents, I know the moms, I know some of these kids. With our GVINE, our Gun Violence Intervention Network and Empowerment program, we have credible messengers in specific neighborhoods in the community that are reducing and mitigating violence."

District Attorney Stollsteimer said after seeing the results in Chester, the gun violence reduction approach will be expanded to other communities in Delaware County including Sharon Hill and Darby Borough.

Last year, city leaders from Philadelphia met with Chester officials to discuss gun violence prevention tactics.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia council members made a similar trip to Trenton where law enforcement, social services and city departments are partnering to effectively reduce gun violence.