CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — Fighting gun violence in Delaware County. Philadelphia City Council members met with Chester officials Tuesday to discuss a gun violence reduction program.
The numbers for crime in Chester are good enough that it warranted a Philadelphia City Council road trip on Tuesday.READ MORE: FDA Authorizes Pfizer's COVID-19 Booster Shot For Americans Over 65, Those At High-Risk
Inside a Chester union hall on Tuesday, Philadelphia City Council members turned to Chester City officials and Delaware County prosecutors for advice.
While gun violence explodes in Philadelphia, there are silver linings in Chester. Homicide rates are down by more than half year over year.
ON THE ROAD- Some Philadelphia City Council members met with Chester City officials and Delco prosecutors. Philly leaders want Chester’s blueprint in cutting crime. The story at 4 and 5 on #CBS3 @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/CSJr5fJHOZ
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) August 24, 2021
Philadelphia leaders apparently think Chester law enforcement is on to something with how dramatically crime has dropped in the city a dozen miles to the south. The word partnership — between police, the DA’s office and elected officials — came up repeatedly.
“The bottom line is people have to work together, for real, not just in a public conversation,” Council President Darrell Clarke said. “To be able to get the parties, particularly on the law enforcement side, in the same room. I don’t know what’s going on in those meetings, I’m told they are having those meetings. But we have to figure this out, this is unacceptable.”READ MORE: More Than 100 Penn State Students Temporarily Suspended After Missing Weeks Of COVID Tests
Members of the press were allowed in toward the end of the meeting. Sources inside said there wasn’t much finger pointing during their closed-door session about why Philadelphia is experiencing an historic surge in deadly gun violence.
Neither Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner or Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw were in attendance.
Clarke said they weren’t invited, explaining councilmembers were making their own inquiries as elected officials into what’s working in Chester.
“If we can’t work together and I mean everybody work together, in public, in private, we’re not going to achieve what they’ve achieved down here in Chester,” Clarke said.
After a half dozen questions on why other important officials weren’t at the meeting, Delaware County District Jack Stollsteimer interjected and said he’s waiting for Krasner’s call to discuss what has worked in Chester.
“We’re seeing great results,” Stollsteimer said. “I’ve never heard from anybody from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, I’ve never received a return phone call from the district attorney on any issue I’ve tried to call him about. If he wants to find out about how this is working, I have a phone. I’m in my office almost every day. He can reach me back at the number I’ve left him.”
A spokesperson with Krasner’s office said they’ve never received a phone call from Stollsteimer and added that had Krasner been invited, he would have gladly attended.MORE NEWS: 3 Men Injured In Wynnefield Shooting, Police Say
A spokesperson for the police commissioner said Outlaw found out Monday about the meeting but wasn’t invited.