U.S. Attorney General Visits Savannah - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

U.S. Attorney General Visits Savannah

Savannah's city leaders Wednesday got promises of Federal assistance in efforts to reduce violent crime here. United State's Attorney General Eric holder met with the Mayor, Chatham County's District Attorney and Metro's Police Chief to discuss what can be done.

The Attorney General says his reasons for visiting Savannah were simple....to get out of what can be a very insulating Washington, D.C., "To get into neighborhoods and community and to really get a sense of what is going on and there's no way that you can get the kind of information that I got today without sitting down with the people who on a day to day basis are living the issues that confront this city." Particularly the problem of gun violence which he believes will be dramatically impacted by the President's new gun initiatives. Holder says, "The President has issued 23 Executive Orders. We have Legislative Proposals of common sense gun safety measures and we are bound and determined to try to make these into law."

But the Attorney General and City Leaders here say they know it will take more than that. The group discussed ways in which the Federal government can help the city through grants and programs addressing crime and safety. Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett explains, "What he was talking about was the COPS program and there are many grants that attached to the COPS. program that we can apply for - what I don't know at this point is matching funds or just a grant or what it is - so we're gonna have to do some research." Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson says U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver has promised his help, "Mr. Tarver has already said that he will assist us with the grant writing and getting the information in and the to the necessary sources."

The Chief says there is potentially monetary help in getting more officers on the street. They will also explore the potential of money to help expand the Savannah Impact Program. The bottom line the Attorney General said he hoped to get across is that Savannah is not alone in trying to address its problems, "We have to think of this as something that is not a Savannah problem, it is an American problem and I'm here as a representative of the Federal government to come up with ways in which we help our fellow citizens to deal with these issues."

City leaders plan to attend the National League Of Cities meetings in March. The Attorney General has invited them to sit down with him again at that time for further discussion.

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