New SSU police chief hopes to stop recent violence on campus

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah State University (SSU) has a new police chief on-campus after nearly a year without a permanent one, according to school officials.

Chief Fred Hammett says his first goal is to fix the department’s relationship with students and the community. He says he plans to do that by hosting more events — like coffee and chile with a cop — and increasing visibility on campus.

“We plan to build that trust with the community we serve so they trust that we’re behind them and doing the right thing,” he told News 3.

Hammett has had a long, 28-year career in law enforcement. His last gig was Chief of Police at North Carolina Central University.

Hammett says he plans to continue SSU’s new policy that requires all visitors to sign-in before getting onto campus. Students are required to carry a badge with them at all times.

Most recently, a man was arrested for shooting and hurting a student at University Commons, an on-campus apartment complex.

Before that, a 24-year-old student was shot and killed at an off-campus apartment complex, according to Savannah Police Department.

Marcus Drummer’s death happened nearly one year ago, in February of 2019. Drummer’s parents say he would have graduated the following May.

The university awarded Dummer a posthumous degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, which he would have used to pursue a graduate degree to help children with learning disabilities.

As of January 22, Savannah Police say there are no additional updates in the case. Drummer’s mother says she is patiently waiting and praying for the justice her son deserves. Drummer also leaves behind his father and sister.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride for all of us,” says Ann Drummer, Marcus’ mother, of the past year. “It was so sudden and unexpected.”

Ms. Drummer says her son had a heart for the less fortunate and was loved by several communities.

“Marcus was a precious human being not only to his family… he had people he grew up with at church who loved him. People in the community got to know him and his fellow classmates at Savannah State,” she said.

Hammett says he is confident his officers — in coordination with Savannah Police Department — will mend the relationship with students and build back trust.

“We want to be creative in our strategies,” he said. “We also want to build relationships with the outside community…in making this a very safe campus.”

If you know anything about Drummer’s case, you’re asked to call Savannah Police Department with information. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously at (912) 234-2020. You may be qualified for a cash reward.

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