Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chester is back in the headlines again

It's going to be a big news day in Chester again today.

First, there will be the fallout from yesterday's raid on the Chester Police Department. Officers from the Special Prosecution Unit of the county CID showed up at police HQ on Seventh Street armed with search warrants.

According to our Rose Quinn, the probe centers on a missing scope from a rifle that was part of a federal ATF investigation. CID officers were seen carrying items out of police headquarters.

It's not the first time there have been issues in the evidence room. We've written about it before. Chester Mayor John Linder is expected to speak about the issue at tonight's city council meeting.

The investigation by the D.A.'s office is believed to have been sparked by a complaint from an officer. One of the issues the department is dealing with is divided loyalties. Commissioner Joe Bail was brought in under Linder. He was out of town yesterday and unavailable to comment.

Linder and D.A. Jack Whelan both confirmed the probe and search warrants, but declined to divulge any other information. But the missing scope and how it came to be missing - and quickly returned - is not the only issue in the city. Tonight a group of ministers is planning a rally before the City Council meeting to protest the continuing violence in the city, as well as an unsolved murder.

They are inviting the city to come together to show their resolve and take a stand against violence at 7 p.m. at the City Council Room in City Hall.

I wrote last week about the growing exasperation of many city residents about what they now say is becoming a daily part of life in Chester - routine random gunfire.

Yesterday I had a call from a person very active in the city who said he believes both Mayor Linder and Commissioner Bail have been reluctant to bring in outside help, something that county officials said they would consider. We'll see if that comes up tonight.

For his part, when he was a guest with me two weeks ago on our 'Live From the Newsroom'show, Linder did not hesitage when I asked him flat-out, "Is Chester safe?"

"Yes," he quickly responded.

He might have a more difficult time selling that to city residents.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is Chester NOT in the headlines ?

April 23, 2014 at 2:14 PM 

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