"Whatever It Takes" To Keep Downtown Safe - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

"Whatever It Takes" To Keep Downtown Safe

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Savannah-Chatham Police announce stepped up patrols in Downtown Savannah Savannah-Chatham Police announce stepped up patrols in Downtown Savannah
Two people are taken to the hospital after a shooting on Broughton street Two people are taken to the hospital after a shooting on Broughton street
DOWNTOWN SAVANNAH -

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police are stepping up patrols and police presence in Downtown Savannah in response to increased crowds and violence.

20 year old Vaughn Cornelia and 20 year old Mamie Smith were both shot along Broughton street about 3am Friday morning. Police say there were almost 100 witnesses to that crime. They are still searching for suspects.

Larger crowds on the streets after the bars have closed are becoming more commonplace in Downtown Savannah, and more worrisome to Savannah-Chatham Metro Police.

"We have a responsibility to make sure the downtown area is safe, and it is," said Downtown Precinct Captain Mike Wilkins.

Police are doing their part to make sure its safe. Starting Friday night, there will be more officers on the beat, watching for criminals in action in Downtown.

"When they let out the patrons for these clubs go to specific areas, specifically places where they serve food because they are hanging out when they get out of the clubs, there are 3-4 different locations where we find larger than normal groups. We deploy extra officers in these areas beyond what we've already deployed to address those issues," said Captain Wilkins.

Those extra officers will be on duty Thursday through Sunday, because that's now how long the typical downtown weekend lasts.

"A Local college (SCAD) doesn't have class on Friday, and that's maybe what started the Thursday night event," explained Wilkins. "It's grown to a point where we feel we have been making some adjustments for it, but we'll make them faster."

There are 118 alcohol related businesses in the Downtown precinct alone. That's more than a third of the total number for the city, and a challenge for police. A challenge the Chief says his officers are ready to take on.

"There's nothing more important than the safety of the people that come downtown or anyplace else in the city or county people want to visit," said Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Willie Lovett. "We can't put a value on that."

 

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