Before I offer comments on the front page story in today’s Delaware County Daily Times entitled ‘D.A. unveils new anti-gun campaign for Chester,’ I want to remind you what I wrote about this effort on March 21, 2020…

  • Again, in Kirkland’s defense, he is absolutely right. The calvary is coming by way of the county district attorney’s office. How do I know? Because me and my crew met them in their offices back in January, six-murders ago, to offer our help and to tell them what we want from them to help stop these murders in Chester.
  • We barely got past the introductions in their Media courthouse office, when they laid out the exact plan they’re putting together that will roll through Chester in about the same time frame Kirkland is implying. Remember, the DA just got the job in January, and to their credit, addressing crime in Chester is one of their top priorities. They realize if what they do works in Chester, they can roll it out to other hot spots in the county who are begging them to start with their city and to forget Chester.
  • My crew left their offices impressed. Everything on our wish list was addressed, and more, before we ever said a word. As my partner said right to their faces across the table, “My bullshit meter isn’t going off.”
  • As Kirkland implies, the crackdown is coming and it’s going to come hard. Obviously, I can’t speak on the details but I’d expect the mayor and police commissioner would confide in a few citizens to get the word out around town that something is coming down the pike. At least give the folks on the streets some confidence in city government’s plans for stopping murders.

I’m not sure if the mayor and police commissioner leaked this information to the streets ahead of time or not, and the mayor isn’t mentioned at all in today’s Daily Times article, but the plan the District Attorney’s office shared with us in January is finally ready to hit the streets. 

Here’s how it’s described in today’s paper…

The goal of “Chester Partners for Safe Neighborhoods” is to reduce gun violence in the city of Chester, the shootings and homicides, while simultaneously providing resources for those most likely to shoot someone else or be shot themselves. 

My partner and I sat in the car preparing what we were going to say to the D.A. about how so many people resort to crime because they don’t have the resources to find work or complete school or even eat and live comfortably. We were ready to tell them that we want to connect these guys to organizations ready and willing to provide the help they need. The reason we sat silent when we finally got to the meeting is because that was exactly the program they laid out in front of us for Chester.

The D.A.’s office knows what’s going on in Chester’s streets better than many people give them credit for. They don’t plan to sit on this information any longer. They intend to personally confront the known bad guys using this approach:

…once the high risk individuals have been identified, they will be given something of an ultimatum: Get on board by a certain date, or get ready for the hammer to come down hard on everyone in the group.

“We know who you are, we know who you hang out with and we know what your group is responsible for in the ongoing violence in Chester,”

Here’s what’s going to happen if they don’t comply…

If someone from a group is involved in a shooting, for instance, anyone in the group on probation might have to meet with their probation officer once a week instead of once a month, with increased drug screenings.

If there is a particular block that the group hangs out on, there might be spotlights and noise machines set up there. Anyone in that group with an outstanding warrant or who is behind on child support payments will go to the top of the list.

“The goal is to make it as uncomfortable as possible to be affiliated with the group,

The D.A.’s office is even looking to bypass the usual path of criminals first appearing in Chester District Court, then to County Court, and so on.

Some of the investigations and prosecutions will also be picked up by partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as an added disincentive, because federal prosecutions are often times viewed as more “serious” or “real” than those taking place in local courts.

If one person is caught with a gun, a lot of others could be corralled into the punishment…

…if the group is viewed and treated by law enforcement in such a way that if any one person is carrying, all people are carrying, that starts to introduce the idea that no one should carry…

They asked our input who should be considered as a liaison between the D.A.’s office and the people in Chester. We provided a very short list and left it up to them who to appoint. We were informed about a month ago they selected John Pierre Brice for that role and I personally support that selection. 

Read more HERE