Mayoral candidate Colin Martin announces public safety plan - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

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Mayoral candidate Colin Martin announces public safety plan

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Columbus Mayoral candidate Colin Martin unveiled his plan to attack crime. Martin stopped by the WRBL studios today after a news conference during which he revealed his four-point public safety plan.

Martin wants effective community policing, more programs designed to help people avoid re-offending, incentives to keep police officers here after five years on the job, and to rebuild the relationship between the mayor's office and other department heads. He said the people of Columbus feel crime is the most important issue they want their mayor to tackle.

“People want a mayor who is personally committed to fixing crime and understands crime from a personal level. Crime is not about charts and statistics. It’s about the faces of crime," said Martin.

To fight the recidivism rate, Martin told us the money’s already there to support programs such as Conditional Discharge and Juvenile Diversion which he says could be part of the solution.

“The fact is in 2008, this community passed a LOST, a 1 percent sales tax, 70 percent was supposed to make us the safest city in America and so we need to get a return on our investment we can do this. The people are already paying for it they want to see the result."

We asked Mayor Teresa Tomlinson to respond to Martin’s 4-Point Public Safety plan.

In an email, Tomlinson wrote:

“As to the idea to redirect first time offenders, we already have successful crime prevention programs that address that type of effort through our Office of Crime Prevention.  These programs are funded by the 2008 LOST funds through our Crime Preventions Grant process. “

Tomlinson also commented about the relationship between department heads and her office: 

Let me say first that there is a close and highly effective relationship between my office and the Chief Law Enforcement Agency of this jurisdiction and that is the Columbus Police Department.  We communicate daily.  So, too, there is an excellent and productive relationship between this office and the Warden, with whom I've had the privilege of rebuilding a previously dysfunctional prison into a safe and professional facility, and the Fire Chief with whom I have likewise worked with closely to great effect through challenging issues.  These are my direct reports and those relationships could not be better.  The recent issues relating to the Sheriff's budget overruns and the investigation of the Marshal's allegations of racial slurs against the Police Chief has created fodder in this political season, but we continue to meet regularly, indeed, I've met with and otherwise communicated with the Sheriff on numerous occasions this week alone.  I suspect once the political and budget seasons are over much of the current discussion with those two independent elected officers will be a distant memory.” 

Teresa Whitaker

In addition to co-anchoring the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights, Teresa serves as the Healthwatch reporter for WRBL. More>>

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