SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV-TV) – Cime continues to grow in Savannah with Metro reporting more than sixteen homicides already this year.
Now community efforts to stop crime are becoming a major focus of neighbors and local law enforcement.
The city sponsored event is a chance to show crime reducing services and programs to leaders of neighborhoods and non profits. It also allows police officials that up close connection to neighbors they normally don’t have.
“The police actually does the heavy lifting, takes the dangerous assignments but the citizens must participate and share the information with us, it’s a shared responsibility,” says SCMPD Chief Jack Lumpkin.
Making Savannah a safer home for all neighbors was the focus for neighborhood, non profit and faith based leaders as they talk with the city and Metro police about crime prevention.
“What affects one neighborhood, affects another neighborhood just because I live in Edgemere doesn’t mean I shouldn’t care what goes on in Parkside and Ardsley Park and vice versa,” says Edgemere/Sackville neighborhood president Cynthia Hopson.
More than a means for the city to show its crime prevention programs, the meeting is also a network opportunity, one neighborhood leader to another as well as one Metro police office to a new trusted source.
“If you call anonymously, I have to go back and verify everything you say and that slows the process down considerably and often we can’t get there, ” says the chief.
That confidential connection Chief Lumpkin says is what officers in Saturday’s meeting are also working to build.
“Most people in that block are good people but they are afraid. We need to weed out those criminal elements that’s intimidating and seed in some opportunities for young folks and the neighborhood to progress lift itself up.”
Specific programs like the Savannah Impact Program were mentioned during the meeting. The program is a part of Metro police’s outreach to help curb criminals returning to criminal activity once released from jail or prison.
Another program was The Mediation Center located in the Medical Arts area and works to help neighborhood leaders develop skills to calm quarrels that take place possibly between neighbors or other situations.