SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The search for Savannah’s next Police Chief is underway and has been for several weeks now.
In late July, interim-Chief Lenny Gunther took over for former Chief of Police Roy Minter, following his nomination for a United States Marshal position.
According to Mayor Van Johnson, that search will be conducted solely by Savannah City Manager Jay Melder.
The goal is to have the position filled no later than the end of the year.
“People are very interested in the police chief, more so I think sometimes than the city manager,” Johnson said. “The police chief is someone that residents are very interested in, business owners and stakeholders are very interested in.”
Even though the job has yet to be posted, they’re currently asking for feedback from the public to find out what exactly Savannahians are looking for in the next chief.
The survey asks, how much experience should the new top cop have, what their priorities should be and what that person should set out to accomplish in the job, among several other questions.
“We want to give enough time to make sure our local residents, regardless of your income, regardless of where you live, have the opportunity to weigh in,” Johnson said. “We want to make sure that what we’re looking for is really what our residents really want because that police chief, like a city manager, like a mayor, is a public servant.”
He adds that both internal and external candidates will be considered.
While city manager Jay Melder has the final say, Johnson acknowledges that whoever takes over the role will be representing the city as a whole.
“We have some great candidates out there internally, and I want them considered. And I’m sure there are external candidates that are worth considering, he has to make the best decision of who he wants to put on the field because I’m going to hold him responsible for the decision that he makes,” Johnson explained.
If you’d like to get involved in the search for the next chief, you can click here to participate in the community survey. That survey will stay open until Friday, Sept. 23.