Neighborhood Leaders React To Rumors Of Chief Lovett's Resignati - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Neighborhood Leaders React To Rumors Of Chief Lovett's Resignation

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Just three years as Chief - but more than forty years with the department - early Friday - neighborhood leaders in Savannah were already weighing in on the rumors regarding Willie Lovett's future with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. The thought of a fourth search for a police chief in just over a dozen years has some in Savannah concerned about the future. Corinthia McCoy, Vice President of the Live Oak Neighborhood Association says, "I am concerned about that as always, Savannah is home and I love Savannah - it's a beautiful city and of course we have these tourists and everything - but when we make that many changes as often as that - it just shows a lack of stability and I think we're just better than that."

Crime statistics have consistently gone down under Chief Lovett's leadership - but there have been a number of high profile incidents during his tenure. The beating of an elderly woman in her Jones Lane garage last month is just the latest that leads some to say there needs to be a change. Rob McAlister, Vice President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association says, "We have been disappointed with Chief Lovett to be honest with you - at first because of some of his bizarre personnel decisions which seemed to reflect an ego-based management style and then secondly because he has not led on crime issues that affect us…I would have liked to have seen the Chief leading from the front - I would have liked to have seen the chief advocating particular policies to reduce crime. I would like to have seen him you know - we've just felt - here in the downtown - we've just felt he wasn't there."

Legal troubles the chief faces over alleged racial discrimination and an accusation of sexual harassment are troubling - but, McCoy says, that shouldn't force him out, "Because anybody can make an allegation about anyone at any given time and by the same time and token - they want to investigate him - I think we also need to investigate the ones that are making the allegations to see just what type of merit it holds, it's only fair."

Many are also looking forward - with opinion split among many over whether - when the time comes - a new chief should be looked for inside or outside the department. The two before Chief Lovett were officers from outside the city.

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