SAVANNAH, Ga. – One day after Savannah City Council voted 8-0 to dissolve the merger between the city and Chatham County police department, local city leaders are expressing their disappointment and concerns.
Donald Williams is the president of the West Savannah Community Organization. He told WSAV he opposes the vote saying it sounds more like a political act.
“It should be more about public safety than a dollar amount,” he said.
He says the City of Savannah along with Chatham County has gotten into a long game of “pointing fingers” which, to him, shows a lack of unity.
“Once you’ve got your fingers pointed you’ve got three fingers pointing at you,” Williams said.
Ella Harmon is president of the East Savannah Community Association. She also opposes the vote and now worries about the ripple effects for her and her neighbors now that SCMPD is expected to dissolve by February 2018.
“If there’s a situation and emergency, I would like to have a fast response time. I shouldn’t have to wait for someone else to come from some other place other than near me,” she said.
She also is concerned about the cost since she told WSAV she pays taxes for both county and city.
Most of all, she says her main concern is with physical police presence.
“We probably will see less visibility and that’s my greatest concern. I don’t see a lot of visibility now and I’m thinking we’re going to see less visibility.”
Questions about the details of a new Chatham County police department have yet to be answered. WSAV will continue to follow this story and update our viewers along the way.