Jack Lumpkin came to Savannah in 2014 to take the job of Savannah Chatham Metro Police Chief. He is leaving some three years later as the department is separating from Chatham County. He says he doesn’t want to “talk about the separation and that people may draw their own conclusions about the fact he isn’t talking about it.”
Lumpkin does says he doesn’t thing Savannah residents should not be worried. “They should feel assured that things are going to work out,” he told us. “It’s not a turn key though, it (a new department) will take constant attention.”
In 2014, Lumpkin assumed the job after a scandal involving former Chief Willie Lovett.
Lumpkin says he and more importantly personnel made the effort to turn around the reputation of the department.
“What has been done here is not from Jack Lumpkin, it’s a team of people in this police department,” he said. “And I pray that we as a team here have been able to improve the Savannah- Chatham County Metropolitan Police Department, that we have helped restore the police legitimacy particularly in many of the communities that are suffering from crime at a higher rate”
It’s been work, but Lumpkin believes things are better for officers and those they”re supposed to serve. “We have improved our police community relations, our engagement with citizens, our respect for citizens and their dignity, we have tried to be transparent,” he said.
Lumpkin is leaving to take a job as the head of Public Safety in Dekalb County. In terms of the future he says funding for a separate city department is still vital. “You cannot police this community on the cheap, you’re going to have to spend the appropriate resources in order to police,” he told us.
Lumpkin says he may be leaving but the many qualified personnel all around him are not.
“That team of people will remain and they will continue to do their job,” he said.