CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — Authorities are stepping up efforts to fight gun violence in Chester and now they are getting help from Washington. People in Chester want to believe there’s a solution to ending out-of-control gun violence, but are skeptical.
Delaware County has stepped up a new initiative to come at gun violence on these hardened streets. It’s designed by the Justice Department to identify troublemakers — those who are found to be responsible for 75% of all violent crime.
“We identify hotspot neighborhoods, essentially neighborhoods that have had an influx of violent crime in the past quarter, in the past few months, and we put, in collaboration with the Chester Police Department, officers on a foot beat in that area,” Delaware County Deputy District Attorney Matt Krouse said.
But police staffing remains a major challenge. The Chester Police Department should have 150 officers in their ranks. However, the number today is well below 100, according to the DA’s office.
“I’ve lost everything in my whole world,” Kyle Davis said.
Davis wants badly to believe there’s hope, even though his world shattered this spring when his 13-year-old boy, Ny’Ques Davis, was executed just a block from his home.
“We’re having so much trouble, somebody’s going to my son’s grave burning his balloons,” Davis said.
Four people are charged in Ny’Ques’ murder. Prosecutors say Ny’Ques was killed for the clothes he was wearing.
His father isn’t numb to movements across the nation, but fails to see how any of it is helping a violence-torn community like Chester.
“The people of Chester, their lives don’t matter, just like Black lives matter. So why is Black lives matter so important here if we’re killing each other?” Davis asked.
The Delaware County DA’s Office is picking up the tab for overtime to staff the additional levels of police that need to be staffed so officers can infiltrate those areas that are identified as hotspots.