SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Two local law enforcement agencies are getting money from the state to fight gang violence.
The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) awarded gap funds to 34 organizations across the state.
The Savannah Police Department and Effingham County Sheriff’s Office are among them.
GEMA says agencies who got the money had to prove they had successfully prosecuted gang activity.
We do not know yet how much Savannah Police are getting, but back in August, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson told News 3 that Savannah does not have a gang problem.
“We do not have a gang problem. We have an issue with young people in that community. They don’t necessarily fit the definition of what we have as established gangs, but we have some in this community.”
When asked Tuesday what the money will go toward, Johnson said technology to stop gang activity before it begins.
“We have a gun problem here,” he added. “We have an issue with individuals that are loosely associated with gangs, but in terms of the state law such as racketeering, stalking and coercion, that is not what we have here. What you see here is people making very, very bad very dangerous decisions but not coordinated in the terms of ‘gang activity.'”
We reached out to Savannah Police for more information and a representative told us they are unable to answer questions about the subject at this time.
The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office tells News 3 the money was requested so that they would be the host agency for the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit’s Formulytics software that holds local and known gang member information.