Released: October 3, 2023
Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer joined Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, Chester City elected officials, and law enforcement officials at the Concord Playground in Chester on October 3, for a press conference held to provide updates about the successful three-year-old Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods (CPSN) program.
CPSN, the deterrence-based program aimed at reducing gun violence in the City of Chester, was launched in October 2020 by District Attorney Stollsteimer with the support of County Council and a $2 million grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The program’s goal: to lower gun violence and strengthen the community.
Since the launch of CPSN in 2020, there has been a 68% decrease in gun violence homicides, a 65% decrease in gun violence incidents, and a 64% decrease in non-fatal shootings.
“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,” said District Attorney Stollsteimer. “While there is always more work to be done, we are deeply committed to this work and we will continue to work every day to lower gun violence and improve the quality of life for the City and its residents.”
Concord Park was chosen as the site of the press conference to underscore the program's emphasis on non-traditional means of addressing community gun violence and crime through efforts to strengthen and improve the community space. CPSN projects have funded community-building activities such as the Chester Biddy Basketball tournaments, the “cleaning and greening” of vacant and distressed lots in the City, and beautification efforts that have included building renovations and murals in Chester.
“County Council has been very supportive of this program since its inception, and we’re proud to have funded the program’s first Community Outreach Worker in 2021 and provide funding for four additional detectives in 2022,” said Vice Chair Schaefer. “But it is the holistic approach of this program that is compelling, understanding the incredible value of supporting strong communities with good schools, clean parks, and open space, as a means to reduce violent crime, and approach that is truly encouraging for the long-term outlook for Chester.”
District Attorney Stollsteimer announced that $25,000 would be used for a variety of much-needed improvements to Concord Playground, including significant improvements to the drainage to eliminate standing water after heavy rains, painting, mulching, tree trimming, and repairs and replacement of fencing.