SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter gave his midyear public safety report to City Council Thursday, and he faced a lot of pushback.
Despite a slight decrease in homicides from this time last year, violent crime is up in Savannah. Minter says aggravated assaults involving guns are an increasing problem.
Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan believes part of the issue is the high turnover rate at the Savannah Police Department.
“What is your commitment, sir, about this retention problem that you have, under your leadership. What are you going to do about that?” the District 3 alderwoman asked.
So far this year, the Savannah Police Department has taken 1,164 guns off the street and made 82 gun-related arrests. They’ve cleared 71 percent of their homicide cases, which is above the national average of 68%.
“We know that it is the lack of policy initiatives, political will, that is contributing to the deprivation of citizens in our community,” At-Large Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter said.
In a broad criticism of the city’s efforts to reduce gun violence, Gibson-Carter took aim at Mayor Van Johnson’s recent partnership with local mothers.
“I seek not to attach myself to remedies that are consistent with blaming moms, or acknowledging that moms should know where their children are,” Gibson-Carter said.
“I will continue to mobilize people, and work with people,” Johnson said. “And so I’m glad that these mothers who’ve lost almost everything they had wanted to come and help be a part of the solution.”
Rounding out his presentation, Chief Minter highlighted efforts his department is working on to engage young people and stop repeat offenders.