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Search For New Police Chief Update

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Savannah, Georgia -

It's been more than three months since Chief Willie Lovett stepped down from the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police we wondered how the city and county were progressing in the search for a new chief. We haven't heard much about the search since City Manager Stephanie Cutter presented a tentative recruitment plan to city and county leaders back in October. News 3 talked with city spokesperson Bret Bell on Monday who tells us the search is moving forward internally to a certain extent.

Bell says the city's H.R. department is in the process of getting internal documents together related to the search, but the public's role in the search - the part we expected to take place this month with community outreach meetings and an online survey...has been delayed. Bell says the city is awaiting the conclusion of a private investigation into the city's police department, "These investigations will help inform the process for deciding what we want in a new chief. It will certainly be part of that - but also again we don't, as we're looking for a new chief - the city manager doesn't want to constantly be interrupted by these things that have happened in the past. She wants a full and thorough investigation of things that have happened in the past - but when it's done she wants it to be done and move forward with the search process."

Bell said the investigation has taken longer than expected due to its broad nature and the number of interviews the investigators have needed to conduct - but he says it is expected to be wrapped up within the next couple of weeks - at which point the recruitment of a new chief should be able to move forward.

He says the City Manager's confidence in Acting Chief Juliette Tolbert means there's no need to rush the process.

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