Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How do you measure Violence Prevention Success?

Take a moment to answer that question for yourself!
I received an email today that upset me so much, I went on a long bike ride before I wrote something that I may have regretted later.
Saturday was truly a success for young people and parents in our Community.  I wish to extend Great Appreciation to everyone for working along with the Injury and Violence Prevention Department in making the day grand.A survey was taken after the event was over and documented responses were very positive.  This information was provided by citizens and vendors in attendance.  Again, thank you for helping Chester to become a Safer and Productive place to live.
If I had received this email on Saturday night, I would have been okay with it, but it came in at 9:38am this morning. 
I’d measure the success of any Violence Prevent event by the extent that it prevents violence. Yet, two days after the event, a young man was murdered in broad daylight. So, what did the Violence Prevention event in Chester Park prevent?
Sure, we can’t expect street violence to be resolved by city government events alone, and we do appreciate the effort, but don’t rub in our faces with an email that brags that a survey of vendors and attendees was positive, therefore, the event was a success.
At least acknowledge that violence still runs rampant on our streets and there is still a lot of work for everyone to do. At least acknowledge that there was a heartless murder the day before you sent the email proving that much more needs to be done to stop this type of activity.
How can anyone take city government serious when they call that party in Chester Park a success toward making Chester a safer and productive place to live?
If the city is going to have parties, call it a party and stop mix messaging.
If the city is serious about preventing crime, take these Violence Prevention events to the William Penn projects and Sun Village where the problems are. The guns are not going to come to your party at Chester Park. 
When’s the last time Chester had a sobriety check point set up on our streets? Simple things like this puts more of a dent in crime prevention than dancing, hot dogs, and motivational speakers. 


  1. I am with you on this matter. The new government think that polling people that enjoyed the moon bounces, vendors And guest speakers was a success. At least Butler went to the neighborhoods and talked about PEACE. This sounds like something the wellness center would say "let's have a survey". I am glad to see the 100 kids ages 15 an under was happy to have a party in the park. At least have the man apples to into the neighborhoods and speak about PEACE oh that's right you can't do that because Butler and his team did that. LMAO

    1. Everybody has big ideas when they get in office . We need to focus on business and amusement taxes . Yeah right we need to focus on our kids and change the culture if that means locking these kids up , chasing them off every corner . Having street parties for what ? Why is it that the kids will commit crimes in Chester but our afraid to act up in brook haven Aston eddy stone ridley and media . All white neighborhoods , something is very wrong when they r scare of those cops out there but here in the city I only can say wow . People have to snitch and stand up to help the cops . The police must get tough and show we are not having it anymore .

    2. When I hear that police must get tough, I have images of police brutality.

      Parents need to get tough. Police need to make arrest and solve crimes.

    3. Your right Stefan I mean by enforcing the curfews be more active in the community example Iive on 18st they have been shooting up here nearly everyday , so why do these thugs feel so comfortable to be able to go out in daytime and fire rounds off . Parents need to be tough too . It takes the community and the police saying we are not taking this crap anymore we our reclaiming our city . The police need to do whatever they can within the means of law . They have to know that they will be caught

    4. Your right , what i mean is they need to start enforcing the curfew again , patrol the heavy crime areas . where Devin was kill at they have been shooting almost everyday . Why are they so comfortable doing crime in chester . The community have to step up too . I understand about police brutality what about this black brutality going on . If this was a cop we would have been up in arms marching all thru the city of chester . The police have to perform there job with in the law but have to get tough on crime and solve these murders . when these kids start seeing in the paper that they are not getting away because the cops are making arrest and these thugs are getting life +25 oyu will see a change . ill put my name on this .

      Shawn Atkins

  2. Mayor Linder and his administration has also been in the community. Mayor Linder has been having listening session since, April 23rd of 2012 and his team has docuemented the comments from the community. Advisory boards are beng formed in nine hotspot areas, The next session is scheduled for May 31st at True Vine church in Sun Village and June 4th at Trinity Chuch, 9th Kerlin Sun Village is currently planning outreach in there community. community that cares in the Kerlin street/8th and Barclay area ha also begun outreach. if you are interested in attending any session in the Chester City area, please contact the office of the Community Liasion. Mayor Butler did a great job in his outreach and Mayor Linder has gone out with his entire administration. I think that we can best use our time by working together to heal the community of Chester. After goverment leaves the community must take a stand and not allow citizens that break the law to continue plaguing there communities. The event on Saturday was the beginning and i believe that as residents in the city begin working together then you will see change, Violence did not just begin and guns getting in the hands of young people did not begin, however, we must first listen, organize, priorities and gather data so that we can obtain the additional resources necessary for more services.

    1. Listening sessions are good and must continue. No one should argue that.

      It's the party-in-the-park stuff that are great as a party but practically worthless as violence prevention efforts.

      Take a page from the Chester Youth Coalition and drop 'Anti-Violence' from your event name.

      Next time, I'd like them to call the party in the park a Unity Day or somehting like that.

  3. I Think the whole event was a BIG JOKE!!!! If you want to stop the killing and violence in Chester you must go to the place where the killings is takeing place.. and if I can recall I havent heard about a killing taking place at Chester Park. The need to put more police on the street and take them out of the office! Chester City and its Government needs alot of HELP!!!

    1. The only joke was that it was billed as a violence prevention event. It was a great party. Wish we could have one every weekend.

  4. WOW there were a lot of good arguments made in the comment section but they were all from Anonymous, except one and of course from Stephan.....but I must say listening sessions are good in theroy, but the points were made in every community meeting Butler had after some wave of violence happened, and I am sure they haven't changed and probably are them same everytime there is a listening session, but as a resident of Chester I have to say it's time to act, forming commities take time and then everyone has an opinion about what is "going" to work, but nothing happenes because it is always stuck in commity....get these cops trained in investgating hire investigators, get a crimescene unit in the city....oh we have one already...oh my bad I can't tell....invest in a Crime lab and all the fixin's....SOLVE A CRIME OR 2 OR 3....the time for listening is over, you have heard while you were in city council and now as the Mayor and Administration....it's time for ACTION!!!!!! Having a party is good for moral but nothing else, if the people in this city could trust the police....heck know them and know they are actually vested in crime control and prevetion, by I don't know solving crimes....then real change will happen....LISTEN TO WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN SAID ACT ON IT.....Listening sessions and forming commities are just a politicians way of appeasing a crowd,by pretending they are going to act....REALLY ACT, BECAUSE I AM TIRED OF HEARING GUN SHOTS IN THE DAY TIME AND THE NIGHT TIME AND THE OVERNIGHT HOURS, I WANT TO BE ABLE TO LET MY CHILD GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY EVEN THOUGH THE AIR ISN'T FRESH BUT THAT'S FOR ANOTHER BLOG.....OH AND I AM SIGNING MY NAME ON THIS...

  5. Fortunately each of the post have valid arguments.Unfortunately you are preaching to the choir. The folks that read and write on this blog have (just my assumption) been instrumental at some point in trying to assist with violence prevention through mentoring, community service and parenting or mentoring others. My interpretation of the comments made... people are disappointed, jaded and hurt because we are and want to be hopeful for the future of our children and communities. The blame game is not going to solve the problem. Just this morning I heard a news anchorman out of Chicago talking about the recent events in Chicago. 11 homicides and 43 shootings during the Memorial Day weekend. It doubled and the only explanation offered was...it rained last year...this year it was hot and sunny so a lot more folks were able to be outside. When I was growing up a sunny day meant fun with friends until the streetlights came on. Unfortunately it's a lot different today. Violence in urban and inner city communities seems to be the new norm. When murder becomes the norm we are in a serious crisis. I don't understand it and my heart grieves for the families of the victims and the perpetrators as their families are affected too. The only key to solving the violence is unconditional love and education as research has shown that if a child is not educated or falls through the cracks in elementary school they will make residence in our prison system. Our children know nothing about conflict resolution. It's not being taught. Another issue is mental health. Our children suffer from PTSD. They are traumatized. There is violence in the home, community,TV, Music and schools. Their friends and acquaintances are murdered daily and they are grieving. Do they even have the opportunity to process the grief??? 2010 was the worst summer for my family as 2 of my male cousins were murdered in Chester. As an adult it unnerved me. I'm still processing the why, how and who? I can't imagine what it did to my younger cousins who were closer to my cousins who were murdered. We have to take responsibility for our children's actions. It starts in the home and in the community. IT DOES TAKE A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD. Don't give up on the community. I agree with Stefan, it's probably a good idea to remove the word "violence" from the event name. Maybe it will send a subliminal positive message. We have to keep trying options until we find something that works. I hear your frustration, but be encouraged. Stay prayerful and continue to lead by example. In order for us to find some resolve we have to work together. Peace!

  6. based on your comment Stefan and many of the people who commented have not attended because if you have you would see that everything that the community says is written down and the community prioritize what will be addressed first. I agree the police are an issue. Forming committees is not the answer but action speaks louder than words. so why don't you and Stephan at 8am on June 23rd from 8am to 11am come down to Sun Village and help revitalize the park and begin the process of working as a community to take pride and continue with the clean up not just physically but learning ways of keeping information off the scanner so the negative element will not find out before the cops arrive.

    1. 1. "everything that the community says is written down and the community prioritize what will be addressed first."

      Could you send me what you wrote down that the community said and how you plan to address it for those of us who did not attend? Or are only those who attended the event privy to that information?

      2. "Learning ways of keeping information off the scanner"

      Not sure what that means but what does that have to do with cleaning a park?

      Was the Violence Prevention event a success? If so, give me reasons that relate to violence prevention.

  7. Where can I get the information on the listening sessions that Linder is having. Was it on the website or the cable station? Sorry folks I just think Cory Long and Mayor Bulter did a lot and it's a shame Linder was not there to support them like he is calling for every bodies support. I saw Kirkland and Linder at 1 anti violence session when Mayor Butler was in office and he had 18 of them in two years. How can we ask our children to unite when our leaders don't. I am not excusing the republicans they should get over there loss and start being seeing in the community doing something. Look at the school district it's always voted on party lines, look at Linder firing the workers it was all on party lines. New people in office same story. I am votin for Tina Johnson

  8. Butler was for himself and Linder and joevbail are getting there stragey in place. The mayor and chief will make a difference it's coming hold on Chester a little longer.

  9. Wow...amazing...attacking and promoting others to join in attacking people who are just trying to help! Stefan, shame on you and the other NEGATIVE people calling The Outreach Event that the DA's office and FBI took part in, a "party". This certainly was not a party or maybe you all just don't know what a party is! This event was a worthy effort to reach out and connect with the community as a group. You declared the survey a waste however if you knew just some of the responses and that the surveys were willingly filled out by the kids and adults in attendance, not vendors, you couldn't possiby declare the survey a waste. You say it was just more talk...well do you stop talking to your kids because they didn't listen the 1st, 2nd or even the 3rd time? Do you just give up? NO, not if you truly care! You keep repeating it over and over in hopes that it will get through. Then to continue making it a Butler vs Linder or Republicans vs Democrates...PLEASE STOP ALL THAT NEGATIVE, NON-PRODUCTIVE TALK and place your focus and energy on the kids, young adults, adults and the violence, the drop out rate, coping skills and the "true" issues. And for the record Linder's team and The Mission along with DA Whelan, Ted "FreedomFighter" Sutton and others have been out in the communities where crimes have been committed talking to the residents. When called on, there have been on the spot and emergency mentoring all over the city. So with all that said my question to all of you,.. "Where have any of YOU been and what are any of YOU doing to help? Cause as the saying goes, "if you're not part of the solution (just sitting on the sidelines critizing), then YOU are part of the problem too!

    1. I asked a simple question. How do you measure violence prevention? I posted a large portion of an email I received that said the event was a success. I asked how do send out an email expressing violence prevention success the day after a murder? The email states that survey results of citizens and vendors was positive which is the basis of the event success. Sorry if you consider all that as negative. It's just a statement of fact.

      I was texting someone who happened to be attending that event and they told me they were dancing and eating a hotdog. That’s why I call it a party.

      All this other information you’ve shared was not included in the email.

      Instead of labeling everyone as negative, take the opportunity to provide a postive write up of what made the event a success. I’ll be happy to post it and I’m sure people will respond accordingly.

      There is no such thing as un-productive talk. We don't talk enough.

      Based on the success of this event, should we expect to see more of these positive violence prevention events in Chester Park, or are we one-and-done?

      What do I do to help?

      I get people talking about the issues that are important. Where else is violence prevention issues being discussed?

      If this blog wasn't here, you wouldn't know that most people don't see these type of events as effective. Unfortunately, the people who stage these events don't participate in these discussions so folks are left to come to their own conclusions.

      How can we change that?

  10. I must first clarify that "one person eating a hotdog while dancing" does not make a party. I can also assume from your words that you yourself were not in attendance and based your blog on information gleamed from this "one person dancing." Not a good way to be impartial. The success was that some kids and adults did come out to participate and there were no negative incidents. Shakiyl Smith (paralyzed shooting victim) spoke and was well received. If his words saved one, then that too is a success.

    As far as what most people see as effective depends on whom you speak to and at what time. Victims families want life sentences or death for the accused. Family of the accused murderers do not agree with death sentences and some not even with a life sentence. So even that varies.

    I also know that I can not speak for everyone however I believe discussions are being had, just not in this forum. As for once and done, I can not answer that since I am not a part of City Council however I plan to contribute and participate as I can, where I can.

    I also challenge everyone to direct all conversation to what any of us can do for the future of this city. Remember we didn't get to this level of violence in a day or two weeks or three years, therefore it stands to reason that cleaning it up totally can not be accomlished in that small amount of time either however we must continue to move forward with whatever any of us are able and/or willing to do to make ANY type of impact.

    Let the online dialogue continue just PLEASE keep in mind that we are all want the same thing and that is for the violence to stop! And if you're watching the news, we unfortunately are not alone. So we should continue doing and trying what we can to make an impact, preferably a positive one. To all families, "get control" and teach the youths the value of a life, including theirs.

    I do want to say as a Chester resident, Thank You to anyone trying to make a positive difference, including you Stefan if that's what you feel you are doing.

    1. Anytime people gather to talk about solutions to make improvements is great. It's even better when the talk turns to action where results are defined, captured, and measured. In this case, the ultimate goal is to reduce/eliminate senseless murders, I think.

      If the success of the event was that people came out and there were no negative incidents, I'll accept that.

      I don't want people to believe that the event successful becaused it will prevent violence as the email implies. We've had 4 shootings since the event last week so there is still a lot of work to do.

      And I do understand the concept of hiring a DJ and presenting a fun atmosphere for people to come out and enjoy themselves. Once they're there you hopefully have their attention and present the event's mission with speakers and such. Only through these comments are we learning who spoke at that event.

      There are some people who don't like the fun atmosphere. Threre are serious minded people who would rather discuss community issues without all the fanfare. They see all the music and stuff as a distraction. It is certainly one approach to getting a certain type of people out, but it can't be the only way.

      What is the goal of the Violence Prevention group? Less murders/shootings - and by how much? More arrest - and by how many? A local crime lab - and by when? Less dropouts, more jobs, better food...what?

      Or is it really about listening to the crowd, writing down what they say, and proceeding from there?

      Once it's clear with the goals are, you are more likely to find people who are willing to work with them to acheive their goal(s).

      If the goal is to bring people out to the park, listening sessions, or hot spot events, we've been doing the same thing for years. It ain't enough.

      Getting people out to these events with no incident cannot be the goal.

    2. Damned if you do and...you know the rest.