WSAV Crime Expert Breaks Down 2016 Numbers

Numbers can mean a lot for the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department, and for the citizens of Savannah.

We told you what the crime numbers were in 2016.. but what do they mean?

As a former major with the SCMPD, Gerry Long has calculated her fair share of crime stats.

But this time she was surprised by the final numbers. Long says they only tell part of the story, and the rest of the details need to be filled in by police.

“Is the biggest surprise that crime stats are down 3%?”
“For me it is,” explained Gerry Long. “Because going into October. We were looking at it and i thought there’s no way there’s going to be a reduction.”

But there was a reduction. 3% in part one crimes. That’s everything from homicides to assaults, burglaries and robberies.

But Gerry Long says before police pat themselves on the back.

“I think its important to say you know what there are certain things that went very well this year but its important to try and explain to me while you made a small headway in violent crime, seeing a downward trend at the end of the year. what if you start looking at it two years ago and three ago, long term.”

And that isn’t the end of the questions she, and the entire city – should be asking.

‘How many arrests are being made, specifcially,” said Long. “Not just homicide arrests, but what about statistics, drug arrests being made assault arrests being made, what is the activity level.”

While the job of police as a whole could be called a success.. long believes one highly touted crime prevention program doesn’t measure up.

“End gun violence is a program that is supposed to direct some of those resources, as is Savannah Impact,” explains Long. “In terms of following individuals who have been known to committ those types of crimes. what stands out to me is that those programs have not been successful.”

“Programs were implemented and have been in place to identify and target those individuals who are responsible for the violent crimes specifically. What are those successes? that is my question as a taxpayer and as someone who follows these things.”

We are following up on Long’s, and our questions about crime.

News 3 has sent a request for statistics and information on the SCMPD Cold Case squad, to find out what if any headway its made in its first six months of existence.

We’ll have those answers as soon as we get the information.

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