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Police Understaffed in Chester Borough, Chief Says

Chief Andre Kedrowitsch requests money for additional officers be added to the 2013 budget.

The Chester Borough Police force may increase in numbers in 2013, if Chief of Police Andre Kedrowitsch has his way.

When speaking to the mayor and council in Tuesday’s meeting Kedrowitsch said that his department was understaffed and was due for an increase.

“This is based on my belief that we are understaffed. We need a lot more officers. Officers are working by themselves out there,” Kedrowitsch said. “We’ve had incidents increase year over year and I have been saying it for four years since I took over as Chief. It is an officer safety issue and we need bodies.”

According to Kedrowitsch, a department of eight men is insufficient to properly police Chester Borough.

“We had a study done 15 years ago that said we were short on staff then,” Kedrowitsch said. “And that was before we built two more malls and more housing. Technically we should have two officers on a shift. Two on days and two on nights.”

Kedrowitsch said that when officers are on a shift working alone they sometimes have to call in a supervisor for backup or call in Chester Township for backup, and both choices have their problems.

“If you call in a supervisor it can take them both off the road and incur overtime,” Kedrowitsch said. “And now we run into the whole premise of the Township saying in certain instances we’ll help you, but they are keeping statistics over there on how many times we have to help them. I hear rumblings that they don’t feel we should help them all the time and we should properly staff our department.”

Kedrowitsch said he was looking to have 10-12 members in his department.

“The area around us is growing. We may be a small community but around us is growing,” Kedrowitsch said. “And that brings more people into town to shop in our stores.”

Mayor Bob Davis asked Kedrowitsch for more numbers to support his need.

“My point is, you say those things but we don’t see data. When I see the court data it declines 20 percent a year,” Davis said. “I’m just trying to understand. For us to make a decision to move to one more police officer we need to see data.

Kedrowitsch said he provided the data monthly to the council and while he acknowledges there is an expense, his concern still remains the safety of his officers.

 “We’re dealing with real stuff. Guns. The need for backup is real,” Kedrowitsch said. “Its not 30 years ago.”

Stop whining and do your job. January 16, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Allow me to be the first- really ? Lmao. Is there a shortage of police sitting in the lube it all shooting the breeze? Or is the shortage sitting in the parking lot facing 206 watching who knows what? Or is the shortage patrolling the parking lot of the rite aid shopping center? I could go for hours. Stop putting your hand out for money that's not there for crime that isn't either. What a load.
Mark r January 18, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Hey Russ,,,, why are the Chester Borough Police blotters, or important arrests and such never published??? Seems we only see what goes on in the Township. I'm aware of the good work they do but seems others are not and should probably more aware of the world they live in.
minnie mouse January 20, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Maybe there is so little crime because of the wonderful work your police department does...have you thought about that!! I highly doubt they make enough money to live in your town and it's obvious you guys are over spent as well or you wouldn't be complaining about the taxes so...there are other places to live! Oh and did you get a ticket Chip Dip? Maybe you should have!!
Russ Crespolini (Editor) January 20, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Great question Mark. And there are three factors: one is that we don't run routine blotter information from any of our departments currently. We use them as starting points for trend stories. Second, we finally worked out a decent system of info Transfer. But it takes time. For example I am awaiting some stats from Sgt. Jara for a trend story, but the info is kept at the county. That said, I know and they know, this is something we need to do better on. The third factor is there are a couple things they can't release quite yet because it would interfere with an ongoing investigation. Its a work in progress, but I think we will strike the right balance in 2013
Mike February 06, 2013 at 02:21 PM
All I know is whenever I drive in Chester; there is always a police car in sight...Its unbelievable how much we are constantly under surveillance everywhere. I like the Police in Town; they do a good job and are doing the job they are directed to do. I think the direction needs to be adjusted a little away from harassing policy directed at people just getting through the day...

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