May 15, 2022
CHESTER – Pennsylvania State Police troopers are helping the city shore up officer numbers in support of a “Safe Streets” initiative that Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said gets cops onto the streets to better connect with the community.
“We know from our own experience, as well as decades of research from cities across the country, that community policing makes a difference,” Stollsteimer said in a release. “Putting officers on the streets, out of their patrol cars, builds trust, and is essential to both preventing crime and solving crime. This office has been supporting the Chester Police Department by funding these ‘Operation Safe Streets’ details for more than a year. We are incredibly grateful that the Pennsylvania State Police, at the request of (Chester City Receiver Michael) Doweary, have agreed to partner with us by joining Operation Safe Streets and deploying troopers to help with our community policing efforts in the City of Chester.”
A spokesperson for PSP Troop K in Media did not respond to a request for comment on the partnership, which begins this week. Troopers are expected to continue assisting through June, when the collaboration will be reevaluated and assessed for future needs, according to the release.
Deputy District Attorney Matt Krouse has been heading a “Chester Partners for Safe Neighborhoods” initiative with the Chester Police Department and mayor’s office that has so far been successful in reducing gun violence in the city, according to law enforcement.
“The Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods is a truly collaborative effort bringing public agencies, law enforcement, and community groups in our city together behind the shared goals of improving the public safety and quality of life for Chester residents,” said Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland. “I am appreciative of our State Police for partnering with us in this noble effort.”
Chester Police Commissioner Steven Gretsky has previously said that his department needs more officers to come up to a full complement and that the partnership goals with that increased manpower would be more easily within grasp.
“Improving public safety is not only critical to the mental and physical health of residents, it is also essential to the economic viability of the city,” said Doweary in the release. “There is not one single answer to the city’s financial situation but supporting partnerships such as this one is an example of the creative approaches that we are trying to nurture and support. I want to personally thank the PSP for their willingness to help us fill the staffing gap at the Chester Police Department. With their help we hope to ensure that CPSN continues to grow and thrive in the City of Chester.”