Welcome to 2017 and the start of a new count up of murder in Chester. We’re starting earlier this year as the first murder of last year didn’t occur until January 6th. This year we marked the first one on January 2nd. Hopefully, this isn’t a sign of things to come.

Today’s Delaware County Daily Times’ report of the murder included a few comments from the police chief that deserve some explanation.

With the police department going through a transitional phase — Nolan called it an “exodus” of many long-time detectives and high-ranking officials — the onus is on the new blood within the department to pick up where their colleagues left off.

Whoa Nelly! Did the Chester police department just have an “exodus?” Did many detectives and high-ranking officials just call it quits? Are there vacancies on the police force? Will there be promotions and new hires? Who left? Who is left? Should we be alarmed? Are we understaffed? Did they put in their paper work or did they just turn in their badge yesterday and surprise everyone? Did they have a going away party?

Does anyone care?

Now that we know there may be less police on the force, is the city less safe? Do police really prevent crime? Can anyone convince me that any of the 27 murders last year, or the one this year, could have been prevented if there were a few more police officers on the force?

I think most bad guys commit crimes when they know the police aren’t looking. Good police work works best when they respond quickly to crimes and capture the bad guy. I don’t think police are very successful at preventing most crimes.

The “exodus” is of detectives and high-ranking officials, not the cops working the streets. I guess our only concern should be that we lost some resources that detect and supervise. Otherwise, the city police force that is out there preventing crimes is still in tact.

But, do police prevent murder?