Mayor DeLoach talks police chief, Talmadge Bridge ahead of ‘State of the City’

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Mayor Eddie DeLoach is set to deliver his ‘State of the City’ address next week.

The public is encouraged to attend the event on Monday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m at the Coastal Georgia Center (305 Fahm Street).

News 3 spoke with Mayor DeLoach today, who had some strong opinions on Savannah’s future.

“We have a great police force which we couldn’t say 2-3 years ago,” he explained.

Mayor DeLoach said the recent killings of two young men are “unfortunate” but says the new Savannah Police department is doing their job.

Meanwhile, he’s choosing to focus on other ways to keep kids out of trouble.

“My philosophy is that we need to have early education and long-term education to get our kids another trajectory rather than where they think they need to go now,” he said.

Deloach is also bringing back the Savannah 500 Summer Jobs programs which he says led to a 27% drop in juvenile violent crime last year.

This year’s fire fee, he said, will help physically clean up our streets and give Savannah a better look.

“As far as I’m concerned the fire fee is going to the fire department. It gets them out of the way so some of the monies like improving our road system and water system infrastructure we can devote money for capital projects to improve those things which we that we haven’t done in the past,” DeLoach said.

As for the Talmadge Bridge renaming, DeLoach says he sticks with council’s vote for the “Savannah Bridge.” But if the community rallies around “Juliette Gordon Low Bridge” then he would be willing to change his mind — as long as it gets Savannah “out of the 1950s.”

DeLoach also told News 3 the search for a new Savannah Police Chief has begun. The national search firm has been contacted to begin the process.

He says the city wants to have a new chief in place by the end of 2018.

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