CHESTER, Pa. (AP) – It’s been a year since a spate of fatal shootings led to a monthlong state of emergency in Chester and a curfew for people in five high-crime parts of the city.
This year, the southeastern Pennsylvania city is enforcing a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for all minors through the end of August.
Mayor Wendell Butler says he got criticism for declaring last year’s state of emergency but it had to be done.
Chester tallied two dozen homicides in 2010 — a 60-percent increase over the previous year. The city has seen seven slayings so far this year, compared to 13 by this time last year.
Officials say they’re doing more community outreach, with positive results. But they agree that much more work is ahead.
Butler says a casino and new soccer stadium have been good for Chester. He says more economic development is needed to bring jobs.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)