Chester Police, Sheriff’s Office release statement about gun, gang violence

The statement says violent crime has gone up in America and Chester County is no different.
These agencies are calling on the community to help combat the gun violence they say is especially plaguing younger people right now.
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 8:25 PM EDT
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CHESTER, S.C. (WBTV) - Officials from the city and county of Chester came together to put out a statement against the gun violence in the area.

The statement says violent crime has gone up in America and Chester County is no different.

These agencies are calling on the community to help combat the gun violence they say is especially plaguing younger people right now. The sheriff’s office says this statement was sent directly to the people in the Chester County community as a message to them—they are doing what we can but we need your help.

Chester County coroner Terry Tinker knows the devastating effects of gun violence especially with teenagers. He sees it all the time. Time and time again, he’s processed scenes and identified the bodies then had to deliver the news to worried families.

”It’s a tough way to deliver but they understand the word death. I don’t think it’ll ever get easier,” Tinker said.

Police and deputies are seeing that uptick in the streets. A statement sent to the community talks about crime—especially gun violence—going up in the city and county especially in the areas near the J.A. Cochran Bypass.

Police and sheriff’s deputies tell me they patrol this area quote aggressively to try to deter crime and respond to calls quickly.

We have reported before that both Chester County Sheriff’s Office and Chester Police are low on numbers and struggling to recruit officers. This statement says the agencies are working with state and federal partners for more boots on the ground.

A city councilmember tells me they are aware of the issue and are trying to come up with solutions. Right now, there are none.

Read the full statement here:

The following is the full joint statement by:

  • Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey
  • Chester City Police Department’s Interim Chief Milton Sims
  • Chester Mayor Wanda Stringfellow
  • Sixth Circuit Solicitor Randy Newman

Violent crime continues to be a scourge on our communities throughout America, and Chester County has been no exception. Gun violence, in the city of Chester and the areas surrounding JA Cochran Bypass, has increased, and the impact on our citizens is undeniable.

As City and County law enforcement agencies, we want the citizens of Chester to know that we have committed and continue to commit all available resources to combat this problem. Specifically, the geographic areas inside the JA Cochran Bypass are at the forefront of discussion and action by multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Both Chester City Police and the Chester County Sheriff’s Office aggressively patrol these areas on a regular basis in an attempt to deter crime and respond quickly to crimes that occur.

Not only is local law enforcement increasing personnel numbers in and around these areas, but we are also working with state and federal partners to increase manpower and investigative efficiency. Furthermore, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office and Chester City Police have entered into an agreement to utilize Sheriff’s Office resources within the city in response to violent crime. Most importantly, we believe community policing is crucial to strengthening our relationship with the public. Both officers and deputies have strengthened their presence in and around the JA Cochran Bypass area, increasing our interaction with neighbors at their homes and continuing to build trust with individuals.

The importance of community support cannot be overstated. All community members are an essential piece in our fight to end the violence. In order for law enforcement to reduce violent crimes, community members must be willing to share information. We call on the community to report crime to law enforcement.

You can report crimes anonymously through the Sheriff’s Office website at chesterscsheriff.com, through Midlands Crimestoppers at crimesc.com, or through the Chester City Police tip line at (803) 377-2100.

It is important for our community to know that law enforcement efforts are only a part of the criminal justice system. From law enforcement to the court system, we must operate in a way that ensures the rights of the accused do not outweigh the safety of crime victims and our community.

We ask that all entities who play a role in the criminal justice system work closely with law enforcement to properly assess the risks certain accused criminals pose to our community. We also ask that through these assessments, decisions be made to keep the accused in jail until their court date.

As community members, what can you do to help?

We ask parents to keep a watchful eye on their children.

Know where they are, and know what their social media activity consists of.

Is your child staying out late? Who are they with and what types of activities are they engaged in? Have you seen suspicious posts on their social media? Have you seen a weapon in their possession or pictures of weapons?

The first line of defense begins with you.

We also ask citizens to keep an eye on abandoned property in their neighborhoods. Abandoned homes are a common location for illegal activity. Call law enforcement if you see suspicious activity at these sites.

Both the City Police and the Sheriff’s Office continue to pursue leads on all outstanding warrants in the city and county. Our fight against gang activity and violent crime cannot be solved overnight, but please know it is our top priority.

Related: 15-year-old shot and killed in Chester County; deputies searching for suspect

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