In October 2020, District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer launched the Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods (CPSN), a deterrence-based program aimed at reducing gun violence in the City of Chester. With the support of County Council, a community resource specialist was hired to connect at-risk individuals in Chester with needed services.
With a $2 million grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, a program director and additional community outreach staff were hired to connect individuals considered at risk of criminal behavior with resources. CPSN staff offer help in ways big and small, from simply getting a suspended license reinstated, or a present for someone’s daughter while they are in prison, to getting an offender into an educational or vocational program so they can improve their lot in life legally. The grant also included funds for traditional law enforcement tools such as police overtime, as well as funding for community building activities such as the Chester Biddy Basketball tournaments and “cleaning and greening” lots in the City.
On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, District Attorney Stollsteimer announced the impact that CPSN has had on gun violence in the City:
- There has been a 68% decrease in gun violence homicides since 2020;
- There has been a 65% decrease in gun violence incidents since 2020;
- There has been a 64% decrease in non-fatal shootings since 2020.
“The statistics announced today are the result of three years of work by my office to support a collaborative approach to reducing gun violence in the City of Chester. This collaboration – involving my office, Attorney General Shapiro, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, and the Chester Police Department — has yielded concrete and demonstrable results. While there is always more work to be done, we are deeply committed to this work and we will continue to work every day lower gun violence and improve the quality of life for the City and its residents,” said Stollsteimer.