SAVANNAH – Neighborhood, city, and police leaders had open discussion about communicating as a community. Speaking on topics of how to strengthen relationships with police that unfortunately fell to a small audience.
“I was.. not pleased with the turnout and really if I had not heard on the news, I was watching the news this morning I wouldn’t have known about it myself,” says west Savannah neighborhood association president Ronald Williams.
A small community turnout did not stop the large discussion about reducing crime and creating opportunity in Savannah neighborhoods.
“I’m not necessarily in the streets like I use to be but I still run into a couple of circles that are still out there and they had problems with police and since it was a community outreach i figured that there was going to be some people to be here I could voice our opinions,” says southside resident Darrien Duncan who was one of the few plain citizens that attended the meeting.
Duncan has no neighborhood association title, he’s a resident that was once on the streets and even in jail. Now he’s a father and homeowner and he says this forum is his chance to speak out and maybe even make an impact.
“Just because we had a smaller turn out today doesn’t mean that this couldn’t influence anything or light a fire under people who are going to see it are going to hear about it and hopefully have a bigger turnout next time,” Duncan says.
With community wide events taking place over the next week, the discussion of crime in the community will continue.
“We got to find away to get out to them and and send the message out to them and let them know that we do care,” says Williams.
New topics brought to light in Saturday’s forum ranged from hosting more neighborhood day events with music and food to attract youths to interact with neighbors and vice versa. Neighborhood interaction in general was a topic people mentioned was in need of work.
Here’s an overview list of topics mentioned at the forum:
Police and community relations
Youth summer jobs
Curfew and parental ordinance
Crimestoppers and 911 accessibility
After school programs