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Chester County Press

Kennett community event renamed for longtime police chief

07/25/2017 10:14AM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

This year, the Joseph & Sarah Carter Community Development Corporation and the police forces of the Borough of Kennett Square and Kennett Township will observe their 7th annual community policing celebration in the most honorable fashion.
Beginning at its National Night Out festivities on Aug. 1 in the 200 block of historic East Linden Street in Kennett Square, the annual event will be called “The Ed Zunino National Night Out.”
Zunino, who co-founded the event with Theresa Bass of the Carter CDC, died on May 12 after a long illness. Throughout his distinguished career in the Kennett Police Department, dedicated time and resources to improving the East Linden neighborhood, an area that was once known for a high rate of drugs and crime. In collaboration with the Carter CDC, Zunino helped turn the community around, which has since led to a dramatic decrease in disorderly conducts and crimes against families and children, and become a national model for neighborhood revitalization.
The Carter CDC serves a diverse population of approximately 500 people in 100 households in the East Linden neighborhood in the areas of education, crime prevention, nourishment, affordable housing, and resident advocacy.
In preparation for the event, youth participants in the Carter CDC's after-school and summer lunch programs interviewed 19 members of the two police forces, asking questions about themselves and their work. Their answers were then transferred onto the backs of trading cards that were printed of each officer, who distributed them at four neighborhood visits during July and will do so again on Aug. 1.
Ethan Cramer, a Borough Council Member in Kennett Square and a member of the Board of Directors of the Carter CDC, touts the project as an effective response to the tensions between communities and their police departments across the country.
"When low-income children of color and the police officers who serve them know each other by name, and can sit down together to joke and laugh and talk about who they are as people, our community is doing much more than fighting crime," Cramer said. "We're building lives together. It's why our officers want to come to work in small towns, and it's a source of comfort and security for at risk children. Six years of connections have built an enduring trust, and every Kennett resident should be proud to live in a place where cops and at-risk kids are friends."
For more information on the event, please contact Ethan Cramer at [email protected] or at (302) 293-1854.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].