Rite Aid donates $10,000 for cameras in Chester

CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- Drug store chain Rite Aid is donating $10,000 for security cameras in the city of Chester.

The donation was made at an event on Monday morning.

It's part of an effort between the company, the city, Widener University and the Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County to install outdoor security cameras and make better use of existing cameras.

It is hoped the cameras will help reduce crime.

"Rite Aid is honored to be the first corporate partner of this important initiative in the Chester community," said Ken Jordan of Rite Aid.

In September 2013, a Rite Aid manager was shot and killed inside the store located in the 2700 block of West Ninth Street. The crime was a deciding factor in the corporation's decision to contribute to this effort.

Last year, Chester recorded 30 murders. A task force of community leaders visited other cities and found that surveillance cameras work in reducing crime and decided it was time to increase the number of eyes in the sky here.

"There are a few cameras right now in the city, but this is a significant expansion of that," said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.

"This- no doubt- is not going to solve the problem entirely but it is a step in the right direction. It's a constructive step. I think Rite Aid is providing a helpful example of what corporate citizenship is all about," said Sen. Pat Toomey.

The new cameras will be wired into a centralized network and Rite Aid is allowing its cameras on the West 9th Street store to be included in that network. Some of the new cameras will go up in the neighborhood surrounding Widener University's campus.

That was news students were happy to hear.

"I think it's good. I think it will help students be safe around here. It will help security. I think it's a good thing," said student Elena Depescale.

Another group of cameras will go up between Providence and Edmont Avenues from 18th to 24th streets.

The program is also being funded by a $1.1 million grant from PennDOT with matching funds from Widener University and the city of Chester.

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