After more than a month, Chester Pennsylvania residents are no longer living under a state of emergency. The restriction had kept residents off the streets in certain areas between 9 PM and 6 AM.
Standing in a church parking lot in Chester, Mayor Wendell Butler was surrounded by supportive community members and law enforcement officials. He said he took the drastic measure of declaring the state of emergency after the series of homicides — because he wanted to do his best to ensure residents’ safety and prevent retaliation connected to the shootings.
“The state of emergency was not intended to be a cure all or a complete fix for the problem. Instead it allowed for Chester to take what we call a time-out and it proved to be an effective measure that provided a welcome calm in the city and helped to curtail the corner-lounging, the loitering, the open drug sales, the drive-by shootings, and the disorderly group complaints.”
Butler said the state of emergency was also a success in its intention to solicit information from the Chester community to assist police in locating weapons, making arrests and taking drugs off the street.
Community activist James Harper Sr. said the state of emergency was working, and it should have gone on for at least the rest of the summer.