Local and state officials work together to

address gun violence in Chester


District Attorney Jack Whelan and Delaware County Council joined Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-26), Sen. Tom Killion (R-9), to announce the appropriation of $500,000 in the state budget plan, secured for the efforts of the Delaware County Gun Task Force and anti-violence efforts on Oct. 26.

The press conference was held on the 1200 block of Carla Lane at the Bennett Homes in Chester, adjacent to the quadruple shooting that took place over the weekend in the city that injured four residents.

These funds were as a result of a collaborative effort of local officials who met to talk about ways to help curb gun violence in the community. Earlier this year, the District Attorney convened a meeting with the Attorney General, members of the Delaware County Legislative delegation, Mayor Kirkland, and police chiefs to identify ways to address this problem. Part of that discussion included efforts to designate personnel to investigate gun violence and track down illegal guns to get them off the streets.

District Attorney Jack Whelan also announced an additional $50,000 in funding, with the use of no tax-payer dollars, to continue to fund the Pennsylvania State Police to patrol the city to bolster and augment the efforts of the Chester Police Department.

"Violent crime and gun violence are driven by multiple factors, economic and social, and finding a solution has proven elusive for so long," said Senator Tom McGarrigle. "But we must not stop trying to save lives. What is clear is that doing nothing is unacceptable," said McGarrigle.

"Gun violence and safe communities continues to be a top priority for me. The funds in this year's budget help us to implement a program proven to be successful to help combat the crippling gun violence in the City of Chester. Months ago Senator McGarrigle and I met with District Attorney Whelan, Mayor Kirkland, and A.G. Shapiro, where we talked about the need for resources in this community. We all worked together to deliver on the needs expressed by leaders in our community and those efforts produced these critical funds that will put people on the streets to help stop gun violence."

"We are working together with our partners in law enforcement to address the recent rash of violence with assistance from County Council who have provided funding for the PA State Police amplify patrols in Chester," said District Attorney Jack Whelan. "In response to rising violent and drug-related crime, law enforcement will be targeting specific high-crime problem areas with a crackdown across the city on illegal guns and straw purchases," he said.

"Delaware County Council has partnered with our District Attorney on many public safety initiatives including providing $50,000 in gaming funds towards State Police patrols and we are committed to supporting law enforcement in their efforts to protect and serve our residents," said Councilman Dave White. "In fear of the gun fire that is ringing out in the city, residents are forced to sleep in their basements or away from windows in order to feel safe," said White. "It is completely unacceptable for any of our residents to live in fear," he said. "The vast majority of Chester residents are hard-working, law abiding individuals who deserve to feel safe in their own homes," said White.

"It is imperative that we implement a sustainable strategy to address violence in Chester," said Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland. "After months of conversation and strategic planning, I am pleased that partnerships with the District Attorney's Office, the state police and other county, state and federal officials have been established to combat crime in our community. I believe when law enforcement officials join forces, it sends a message to criminals that violence will not be tolerated," he said.

District Attorney Jack Whelan is committed to the continued investigation and prosecution of the sale and transfer of illegal weapons, with the enforcement of minimum mandatory sentences for arrests, with the goal to discourage people from purchasing firearms and placing them in the hands of dangerous criminals.

Since 2014, Delaware County District Attorney's Office has prosecuted and convicted seven individuals for the straw purchase of guns under the Brad Fox Law which went into effect in January 2013.

In the spring, the District Attorney announced a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone possessing illegal guns. Police are working with local businesses, the faith-based community and Police Chaplains to share this information in an effort to crack-down on illegal guns and straw purchases. Individuals can report crime by calling 9-1-1 for emergency response, or the Delaware County District Attorney's Gun Task Force at 610-891-4197.




Announcing Anti-Violence Plans in Chester

Delaware County Councilman Dave White and District Attorney Jack Whelan joined Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-26) and Sen. Tom Killion (R-9) to announce the appropriation of $500,000 in the state budget plan, secured for the efforts of the Delaware County Gun Task Force and anti-violence efforts during a press conference on Oct. 26 on the 1200 block of Carla Lane in Chester, adjacent to the quadruple shooting on Oct. 21. District Attorney Jack Whelan also announced an additional $50,000 in funding, with the use of no tax-payer dollars, to continue to fund the Pennsylvania State Police to patrol the city to bolster and augment the efforts of the Chester Police Department.