SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Joseph “Jack” Lumpkin is speaking out for the first time after announcing his resignation on December 22.
His resignation came as a shock to many during a time of mayhem, with the launch of two separate police departments for Savannah and Chatham County.
It now leaves many wondering about the state of the police department as the New Year approaches.
Chief Lumpkin first joined the SCMPD, in November 2014 after years of experience in Georgia.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with and lead the outstanding men and women of this police department,” Lumpkin says.
His goal when he came to Savannah was to reduce crime, the fear of crime and disorder.
“I have worked with this department staff to implement positive change for our external and internal customers,” he says. “That’s being the citizens of this community, their guests and internal customers being the staff members who work here.”
Since he’s been in the city, Chief Lumpkin has worked with law enforcement on a federal, local and state level to further develop the relationship between officers and the community.
But he says there is one thing he did not get a chance to do — emulate the New York experience.
“They came from 2,000 murders per year in the 1990’s to probably finishing with less than 300 this year. I think you can do that in Savannah,” Lumpkin says.
With a new police department and a new city budget 2018, he believes it can be done.
“The cooperation has to be maintained between all law enforcement officers or they are not safe regardless of what color the uniform is or what the badge says,” he says.
Lumpkin also says he has not had a conversation about a new chief or an interim.
On Jan. 28, Lumpkin will start his new job as a Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Dekalb County. His last day as the Chief of SCMPD will be Jan. 22.