Thursday, February 16, 2017

A day to fight violence in Chester

It will be all hands on deck today as the city of Chester tries to come to grips with the wave of violence afflicting the city.

And that means citizens, city, county and state officials.

The day will start this morning with a session for law enforcement officials.

Here's a look at some of the people will be in attendance:

· Attorney General Josh Shapiro (Pennsylvania)

· Sen. Tom Killion (Pennsylvania)

· Rick Tutak (Office of Senator Killion – Pennsylvania)

· Executive Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Selber (Pennsylvania)

· District Attorney Jack Whelan (Delaware County)

· Deputy District Attorney George Dawson (Delaware County)

· Police Commissioner Otis Blair (Chester, PA)

· Police Chief James Nolan (Chester, PA)

· Major Steven Gretsky (Chester, PA)

· Police Chief Bobby Cummings (Wilmington, DE)

· Police Chief Mark Talbot (Norristown, PA)

· Police Chief Michael Irey (Upland, PA)

· State Representative Brian Kirkland (D-159)

· Re-entry Coordinator Charla Plaines (Harrisburg)

· Executive Director Steven Fischer (Chester Housing Authority)

· Police Chief Rodney O’Neill (Chester Housing Authority).

Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland believes it's time for all entities to use the same tactics to fight violence as are currently being deployed to battle the heroin epidemic affecting so many towns.

"The war against fighting crime in inner cities and across the country should be viewed with the same level of passion the nation currently has when addressing the opioid epidemic,” said Kirkland. “The issue of crime and violence is not isolated to Chester. There are many towns near and far that face similar battles—perhaps if we come together to brainstorm and strategize we can all learn new methods of suppressing crime within our respective communities.”

The morning panel discussion is closed to the public.

The public will get their chance to offer their ideas at a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at Chester City Hall.

We used our editorial page today to note that part of Chester's crime problem - and the lack of an increased police presence - is tied to the city's chronic financial woes. Read it here.

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