SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The City of Savannah has seen over thirty gun related incidents this year and that number continues to increase.
Mayor Van Johnson says the problem starts and ends with the people.
“This is an issue that we cannot police ourselves out of,” he said. “It comes down to a decision that a person makes to consider using a deadly force and use a gun in which you can just walk away if you wanted to.”
Many of the citizens involved in these violent crimes include teenagers. Mayor Johnson says the issue of gun violence ultimately starts at home.
“It comes from the decisions made and at home from individuals who know their family members are engaged in violent behavior,” he said. “They know they have illegal guns and yet say nothing or do nothing about it.”
With recent shootings over the weekend, he says it’s important for city leaders to work with the community to find ways to prevent them from happening again in the future.
“It’s important for us to show them alternative ways, we have to show them peaceful ways to mediate conflict we have to show them constructive ways to solve disagreements,” said Johnson.
Johnson touched on the expansion of the shot-spotter system to provide data city-wide.
“It helps us to examine gunfire trends. If there’s a neighborhood or area that is more likely to have gunfire, then we will know where that is,” he said.
He says the city is also deploying law enforcement officers to patrol neighborhoods experiencing high crime rates and working to add new surveillance cameras in those areas.