Kennett Square police crack down on drug activity

Bill Holdsworth, Kennett Square police chief, gives a report on crime to the Longwood Rotary Club.
Bill Holdsworth, Kennett Square police chief, gives a report on crime to the Longwood Rotary Club. FRAN MAYE – DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA

KENNETT SQUARE >> When Kennett Square police began an investigation into drug use in the community recently, they were surprised that marijuana was being sold to Kennett Square pre-teens.

Bill Holdsworth, Kennett Square police chief, said drug use is in every community today, and it is not exclusive to Kennett Square.

“We take a proactive approach to drug activity,” Holdsworth said. “Our (police) department is part of the (Chester County) Municipal Drug Task Force and certified, so we get reimbursed for our investigations.”

Holdsworth, who was hired as an officer for the Kennett Square Police Department in 1997 and who has lived in Chester County all his life, said investigators were easily able to buy a pound of methamphetamine on the streets.


“This is readily available to our kids,” he said. “We had a recent investigation where we bought two pounds of marijuana and it was being sold to kids as young as 12 years old. It’s in every community.”

And Holdsworth said the opioid problem is equally as troubling.

“They are everywhere,” he said. “It’s scary. What really scares me is the additives they use today. There are so many things we used to not fear.”

Holdsworth said a friend of his had knee surgery and got a prescription for Percocets from his doctor.

“He took them for a day or so, and then had 65 left in his medicine cabinet. The children can get their hands on it, and it’s worse than heroin because it is so readily available.”

To combat this problem, Kennett Square Police have a drug collection box. Years ago, it got emptied once every four months. Today, it gets emptied every two weeks.

Gang activity in Kennett Square, Holdsworth said, has greatly declined.

“We had Bloods and Crips here,” he said. “Our gang activity has plummeted. A lot of that is due to strict enforcement. We arrested everyone we possibly could. Because of strict enforcement, the end result is that we have not had a problem with gangs, but the threat is still out there.”

About the Author

Fran Maye

Fran Maye is an award-winning journalist and a graduate of Shippensburg University. He and his wife Marianne live in East Marlborough. He enjoys golf and is a 4.0 tennis player. Reach the author at or follow Fran on Twitter: @kennettpaper.