So maybe this blog post isn’t all about Chester County.
(Full disclosure: Some of the contents from this post are from my friends at our sister paper, the Delaware County Daily Times and I am an Upper Darby native.)
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood has been cleared in a libel suit brought against him by a local tavern owner who got mad basically because Chitwood had some less than flattering remarks to say about his bar.
Delaware County Judge Chad F. Kenney declared the case, which was filed by Upper Darby bar owner Robert Herdelin against Chitwood, dismissed with prejudice, giving the complainant the opportunity to appeal. Last May, Herdelin, the owner of Cheers Bar at 69th and Market Streets for 27 years, declared his intention to file suit in front of the police station.
The criticism stemmed from several incidents at the bar, beginning in November 2009, when a number of adults were arrested for drug violations and three juveniles for underage drinking. The bar was also closed because of health code violations.
Basically in Chitwood’s mind it was a nuisance bar for the township.
Now mind you there are a lot of people who don’t like Mike Chitwood. They don’t like the way he describes criminals (scumbags, thugs, etc.) and think he’s a publicity hound. It’s tough to argue the publicity hound stuff. But so what?
I grew up in an era where you could ride a bike or hop a bus to the 69th Street area and not have to worry about drug dealing on the streets, shootings, robberies, and all of the other wonderful things going on these days down in Delco.
I recently got into a Facebook debate with a guy who lives still in Upper Darby but says he’s ashamed to admit it. My point of view was like Chitwood’s. Let’s face the facts that the township has problems but let’s call them what they are and work hard to fix the problems.
Chester County is no different. Talk to the old-timers and they will recall the glory days of the City of Coatesville when there was plenty of merchants selling their goods. Where the streets were safe to walk, where the drug dealing was not an issue. Shootings didn’t happen either.
But some say those days are long gone. I would welcome Michael Chitwood to Coatesville. Tough times bring the need for tough measures. Like Upper Darby, Coatesville can’t bury its head in the sand. Take on the criminals and win back the streets. Make the drug dealers go somewhere else.
Some people say you can’t go back. I disagree. I say with the right approach and the right attitude you can go back. These are our streets, our towns. It’s time for the scumbags and the thugs to find another place to do business.
Neither Upper Darby nor Coatesville want you around.
— Andy Hachadorian