SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – On Saturday, July 22, three shootings happened in one day, killing one person and injuring four others.
News 3 spoke with Asst. Chief DeVonn Adams of the Savannah Police Department (SPD) the following Monday, and he said each precinct was fully staffed and able to handle the violence that day.
“We had everything in place. We had enough manpower. We were covering all of our hotspots and using all our technology that we have,” said Adams.
The Saturday shootings all happened on the Eastside Precinct, on the intersection of Bolton and Live Oak St., Pennsylvania Ave., and the intersection of Indiana and Ohio Ave.
Adams defined fully staffed as this: “Each precinct is fully staffed with at least 11 officers and their supervisors. Our specialized units have anywhere between from 10 to fifteen a piece.”
But the SPD staffing sheets from July 22 indicate both dayside and nightside shifts on the Eastside Precinct were staffed with 6 officers patrolling the streets and answering 911 calls and one sergeant. This was in addition to the special units.
Asst. Chief Adams affirmed to News 3 all precincts were fully staffed with officers that day.
“All of our precincts are fully staffed; unfortunately we can’t be everywhere. We try to follow everything we have with our technology,” he adds.
Neil Penttila, a spokesperson with SPD, told News 3 in a statement the precincts were fully manned that weekend as well:
“The shifts were covered down by specialized units such as K-9, Mounted Patrol, Traffic, Community Response Team, Crime Suppression, and the Special Investigation Unit. The precincts were fully manned for their shifts and often exceed manning requirements.”
One resident, Audrey Cauley, says she lives in an area that’s currently experiencing violent crime, the Kenneth Dunham St. neighborhood, and tells News 3 she was once told by SPD they are short-staffed.
“That’s what they say when you call them and they’re like oh they’re short-staffed, but we’ll send it an officer,” says Cauley.
SPD held a hiring expo on Aug. 18.
News 3 will continue to press the department on the staffing situation.