By Mark Abrams

CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday announced it will conduct a review of the Chester Police Department’s operations.

Chester Police Commissioner Darren Alston requested the federal examination of his department in the wake of years of incidents – many underscoring a lack of trust between the community and the police department.

“I clearly understand the importance and the need for a great community and police relations because when the police department and the community works together, great things get done,” he says.

Noble Wray coordinates the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services office which goes by the acronym COPS.

He says the two-year process tries to get the community and the police department rank and file engaged in a dialogue:

“What we’re doing is providing an external review, an independent assessment that is done in the light of day so everyone can see it and they know what the road map is to success. This is not going to happen overnight; it did not occur overnight.”

Wray says while the process is voluntary, the Justice Department expects the police department will take seriously the recommendations and conclusions of the study and take action.