Reputation management is the one thing Chester City government hasn’t been good at over the many years I’ve been following Chester issues. Bad news about Chester is not hard to find and good responses to the bad news are virtually non-existent. 

Today’s Delaware County Daily Times is helping Chester with some reputation management in its Sunday article ‘Shootings, deaths down in Chester as anti-violence initiatives gains ground.

The article focuses on the efforts of the Delaware County District Attorney to combat Chester violence. 

An initiative begun last year to combat violent crime in the city appears to be paying dividends with fewer shootings and gun-related deaths in the past nine months, according to statistics provided  by county District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and his staff.

What they’ve found (and many of us already knew) is…

“There’s a small number of people who are doing the killing, so we take them off the street, we’re reducing homicides going forward,” said Stollsteimer.

According to raw numbers, here’s proof that the DA’s efforts may be working…

  • From November 2020 to June 2021, there have been 8 homicides and 49 shooting victims, down from 24 homicides and 77 shooting victims during the same period the year before.
  • In the first six months of this year, there has been a 63% decrease in gun violence homicides versus January to June of 2020. And, there have been 25 fewer shooting victims in the same period versus last year. 
  • More homicide cases are ending up with arrest. So far in 2021, 75% of homicides have ended with an arrest. In 2020 there was a rate of 50% of homicides ending in an arrest. In 2018 and 2019, the rate was 22%.

To keep the momentum going in the right direction, Chester’s police commissioner said he is hoping to bring another 15 to 20 officers onto the force soon, while the DELCO DA is looking to install 40 new cameras around the city and implement a “real time crime center” that can tap into cameras around the city at a moment’s notice.

First Assistant DA Tanner Rouse says that this work creates an environment where success can happen, where the violence has quelled enough that people can revisit and rethink Chester.

That’s what I call reputation management.

Here’s a blog post from March 2020 which sort of introduces the DA program that we’re seeing so much success with today…