CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- A new class of police officers was sworn in 10 days ago and will now begin patrolling the streets of Chester
They will find a city that has scored some impressive victories in the war on crime.
Chester Police Sgt. William Carey patrols almost 5 square miles every night, protecting some 40,000 residents.
"In the last couple years what I'm seeing is we're taking a more community policing approach.
Anyone can drive around and pull people over and jump out on corners, but when you actually engage with the public, now you're building a rapport, trust, relationships," he said.
The city had its lowest homicide rate in almost two decades last year, totaling 18.
That is down nearly 50 percent from the 29 people murdered in 2017.
Now neighborhoods like Sun Village and William Penn Projects are quieter. The department has just added officers to its blue line and added more police cameras to hot spot areas.
They have also started a new initiative with the Delaware County District Attorney's Office to clean up crime zone by zone in the city.
"I'm not hearing a lot of gunshots, I'm not hearing a lot of someone got killed," said Jonathan Abdur-Rahim King of Safe Corridors for the Safety of Schools.
But residents say police can only do so much.
"The residents are getting more involved because they're tired of the crime rate," said Leo Davis of Chester. "That's what we need. We need residents after all we've been asking for all these years to get involved and start letting people know who's doing what."
Sgt. Carey says more manpower was needed to keep it going.
"You just can't do what we're doing and leave. When you go down there and leave that's like saying we cared for a couple months, now have to build on that," he said.
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