Delco authorities sweep Chester for those with warrants

Posted: May 08, 2014

Just minutes before Delaware County, state, and federal authorities gathered Tuesday to announce a new plan to combat increasing gun violence in Chester, another man was shot there.

The victim was gunned down near 21st Street and Edgmont Avenue around 1:30 p.m., District Attorney Jack Whelan said. "We don't expect him to survive," he added.

The man would become Chester's 12th homicide victim this year. Forty-two other people have been shot and wounded, Whelan said.

Those shootings are why "Operation City Surge" was launched. Whelan, who announced the initiative at a news conference in Media, called it the largest in Chester's history.

Along with Chester police and county agencies, the state police, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and SEPTA police, including bicycle and K-9 officers, will assist in the effort.

Whelan would not say how many law enforcement personnel officers were involved, but he said there would be greater police presence in Chester. He said authorities also would address straw gun purchases and work with federal agencies in investigations and prosecutions.

Whelan said the county received a $100,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to replace the county's 40-year-old ballistic microscope, a tool in homicide forensics.

Whelan said he has also asked businesses for money to expand neighborhood camera programs. And he is looking to residents for help in identifying criminals.

"We cannot do it alone," he said. "The residents have to step up."

Just before dawn Tuesday, authorities rounded up 10 suspects in the city on outstanding warrants. It was the first in what authorities said would be routine sweeps targeting parole and probation violators and defendants who have failed to appear in court, Whelan said.


mschaefer@phillynews.com

610-313-8111

@MariSchaefer

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