Savannah Council Approves Merger Concept - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/15/03

Savannah Council Approves Merger Concept

Council in session today. Council in session today.

Will we have one police department anytime soon? That's the big question, but still no answers. Savannah City Council's working to take the effort one step further. Workshop after workshop, draft after draft, the proposed police merger has been one hottest topics at city council, and an agreement has been finally been reached. Council members voted on the concept of the merger, and those ideas and plans will now be taken up with the Chatham County Commission. It's a  concept the majority of council supports.

"I think this is real exciting, we can now share data, the 911 will be the same, we don't have some arbitrary line that impairs people's right to receive justice," council member Courtney Flexon said.

The most important issue to council members is safety. They also had to work out pension plans for county and city employees, payroll, and who foots the bill for certain services. These are all issues the city and county will both have to agree on. The one alderman against the idea was David Jones.

"It seems like we are constantly being pushed into it and I don't think we are ready," said Jones. "I don't think this council should be the one to do it. We are going to have a whole new council and all new people."

The county commission and city council both have to sign off on the agreement and that may take some more time. Chatham County commissioners already approved the concept. Now the city and county managers have to negotiate the final plans. We'll keep you posted.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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