Crime stats: Homicides down 58% in Chester, Pa., data shows

"Most of our crimes are being solved at this point," said Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland.
CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Chester, Pennsylvania, a city notoriously known for residents being held hostage by violence, is now feeling a little safer for Charles Thompson, who runs the Chester Panthers youth sports organization.

"It's been a ton of arrests and a ton of guns off the street, and they're posting them on the Chester police Facebook page," said Coach Thompson.

When asked how that makes him feel, he replied, "Safe. Glad that it seems that the city and police are trying to get a handle."

Murders are down nearly 60% compared to last year. The clearance rate for homicides stands at 50%. It's the highest since 2004.

"Most of our crimes are being solved at this point, another major reason why you see crime going down in the city," said Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland.

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The mayor is also highlighting officers walking their beats and a new program that opens a clear line of communication between residents and investigators in the Delaware County District Attorney's Office for the drop in murders.

"It's detectives making sure you have all the necessary resources, CID (Criminal Investigation Division) backing up the Chester police. We have district attorneys working with detectives from the jump to make sure those cases get handled absolutely right, so that when we have a violent offender, he stays behind bars," said First Assistance District Attorney Tanner Rouse.

Thompson says last year, a 13-year-old member of his program was killed due to gun violence. Police arrested four people in that case, but he is hoping this decline in crime will keep more of his kids from becoming the next victim.


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