CHESTER, Pa. - The city of Chester has not been immune to the gun violence problem plaguing Philadelphia, and officials are taking steps to curb the carnage before summer.
"We should be up to 100 plus officers in this city. We are not there. We’re not there," stated Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland.
Beginning Thursday, at 4 p.m., Pennsylvania State Troopers will team up with Chester Police officers to patrol and walk the beats in some of the areas where cops are needed most.
"We’ve been concentrating on those people who are most likely to shoot or be shot," Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer explained.
- Double shooting kills 1 man, injures another in Chester, officials say
- Girl, 4, shot and killed by 2-year-old brother at Chester gas station, authorities say
- Homeless man tells police about human remain in wooded area of Chester park
Stollsteimer says adding state police in a "…focused, deterrent strategy," is one step to making Chester residents not just feel safe, but flourish. "Really be a presence. We’re just making sure the folks who live in Chester see that law enforcement is there to serve them and if we can disrupt some violent activities along the way, we are happy to do that."
Crime in Chester is trending down. Homicides are down 38 percent from last year. But, some wonder if outside officers are the real solution.
"You have state police coming in. It’s kind of a detached force, so to speak, so we kind of have some concerns regarding that, but at the same time, if you need help, you need help," father and resident Rashaad Abdus Sabur commented.