SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter is sending a clear message to the community; his department will not tolerate large gatherings.
On Wednesday he tweeted out that he and his patrol officers broke up a barbecue in the area of Waters and Bolton St.
“Tonight I assisted our patrol officers with disbanding a large barbecue/party in the area of Waters/Bolton. This was a dangerous gathering and blatant violation of Mayor Johnson’s Emergency Declaration. Come on Savannah! We must stop this type of behavior.”
Minter is hoping the public will see this as a teaching moment. Even though they didn’t issue any citations for this party, they want people to know gathering in large groups will hurt the entire community down the line.
“There were several individuals out there probably about 15 to 20 people who were out there,” said Minter. “The concern was they were all in close proximity and there did not appear to be any concern about their safety or the safety of others.”
Monday Mayor Van Johnson expressed similar concerns after dozens were seen partying at Forsyth Park over the weekend. Minter said going forward there will be more officers patrolling the area.
“If you go out to Forysth park today one of the things you’ll notice right there by the bandshell is a large sign that basically reminds people of the importance of social distancing,” said Minter.
The Savannah Police Department is encouraging people to call their non-emergency line at (912) 351-3400 if they see anyone violating the city’s orders.
It wil be up to the officer’s discretion to issue a citation.
“You know our essential job description hasn’t changed I mean we are still going out everyday and protecting and serving this community,” said Minter. “But there is an additional public safety concern and that is we are dealing with a pandemic.”
At this point officials are trying to flatten the curve, studies show reducing daily contact between people by 90 percent would do just that.
Minter and Johnson said this is for the public’s own good. Health officials warn that you can spread this disease without even being sick so they are asking you stay home and stay distant.