Two Chatham County cities will enforce curfews as the area prepares for an impact from Hurricane Dorian. Beginning Tuesday, the curfews will be in effect from 9 p.m. through 6 a.m and people are expected to be off the streets in Thunderbolt and Savannah.
Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach says it’s a proactive step to deter looting in the Hostess City, “You know there’s a stop and frisk thing you can do there if they need to do that so, that being the idea, folks aren’t as quick to get out on board and start some trouble and we want to make sure we, we stop that before it gets there and not after the fact,” DeLoach said. Police Chief Roy Minter says crime-fighting is not the primary goal of the curfew, “The purpose of the curfew is not to go out and arrest people, the purpose of the curfew is to give us the authority to go out and contact people and let them know they need to be off the streets. They need to be in a safe area, but not to go out and arrest people,” said Minter.
If you have to be out, whether walking or driving to work and you’re essential personnel like a hospital employee, you are still subject to be questioned by police, “Well we’re asking for them to have work ID with them. Some way for us to verify that they are part of the critical workforce, they’re on they’re way to work or on the way back home. But we realize some people may not have that and we understand and we’re gonna use a lot of reasoning with this,” Minter said. The chief adds his officers won’t make the decision to write those tickets alone, “One of the things we’re gonna do is any arrest that the officer is looking at making, just solely for a curfew violation, will require approval of a supervisor before the officer actually makes that arrest,” Minter said. He adds curfew violation is a misdemeanor offense. They will remain in effect until further notice in Savannah and Thunderbolt.