Delaware County Public Relations Office
(Oct. 25) The Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods (CPSN) has helped reduce non-fatal shootings, gun homicides and gun violence incidents by more than 50% since 2019 according to a report by Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
The program is an effort by Stollsteimer’s office, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, the Chester Police Department and Delaware County Council. It launched CPSN in 2020 as a deterrence program aimed at reducing gun violence. It is based on a model developed by Swarthmore College alum David Kennedy.
Stollsteimer said, “The progress that has been made in reducing gun violence in Chester is making a difference every day in the lives of City residents – and we would not have achieved these results without the support of all of our partners.”
The program, similar to ones implemented years ago in Boston and Philadelphia, works on a “carrot and stick” approach that begins by calling in influential people involved in crime, explaining that law enforcement knows who they are what they are responsible for, and giving them the ultimatum: “If you let us, we will help you; if you make us, we will stop you.”
With the support of County Council, a community resource specialist was hired in 2020 to work in Chester connecting at-risk individuals with needed services. With funding from Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, three additional community resource specialists will be hired, and recently the Green Family Foundation has added its support to CPSN by contributing the funding needed to pay the salary of one of the outreach workers.