Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The two sides of Chester - again

In my weekly print Letter From the Editor this week, I talked about the challenges of making sure our front page accurately represents both the good and bad things that are going on in Delaware County.

Granted, it's usually a lot easier to go negative. There are usually no shortage of candidates.

Nowhere does this dilemma come more into play that in the city of Chester.

Today's front page details a follow-up story on the sagging morale of the Chester Police Department.

These are tough times for the men in blue in the city.

Their ranks have been diminished by a wave of layoffs at the tail end of last year. That situation was exacerbated by the belief that a new contract would great reduce benefits for those on the force.

The union and city still have not reached an agreement on a new deal.

In the meantime, serious crime has taken an uptick in the city. Last week county and city officials rolled out 'Operation Safe Streets,' a push to add state police patrols to beef up the police presence on city streets, something city residents have said again and again they want.

At one point on a recent weekend, five people were injured in a drive-by shooting. At the same time, that was the exact same number of city officers on the Chester streets - and only because one officer came in on overtime.

You can read today's update here.

But that's not the only story going on in Chester.

I hope that you also read yesterday's marvelous story detailing the journey of Deborah Ekwale.

The Nigerian native recently was lauded by the Chester branch of the NAACP. She will graduate from Chester High in June. What's so special about that? She's 16.

You can read the story of her marvelous journey here.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize Will Richan, the longtime Chester activist who brought Deborah's story to my attention.

Don't believe it when people tell you there are no good stories in the city of Chester.

We find them all the time.

Just ask Deborah Ekwale.

You go, girl.

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