Police Continue G-8 Preparations

Savannah-Chatham police are continuing planning for the G-8 summit. With less than 150 days to go, the preparations and training are getting more in depth. As always, they are looking at issues of crowd control and working with agencies from all over the United States as well as internationally.

The G-8 office at the Savannah-Chatham Police Department is buzzing with activity as the next phase of preparations begins. "Beginning in this month at the state level, because it will not be just Savannah officers that will be here, it will be other organizations also represented," explained G-8 coordinator Capt. Gerry Long.

Thanks to the police merger, the department now has more resources at its disposal. "The merger has allowed us to add officers to use in different positions," said Long.

Police say it is still too early to say just how many protestors will be in the area, and where they will go. But say they will know in advance about any planned events thanks to city codes. "There is a permit process for parades and use of squares, whether that is a park or Grayson Stadium or Daffin Park area," said Long.

Any group wanting to stage an event will go through the same process the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee goes through, and this March will be good practice for what may come in June. As Long put it, "I think St. Patrick's Day has helped in the overall preparation, cause it helps on how to plan for this type of event, in a macro sense, because we know what agencies are out there to support us and we know how to plan."

The police department is receiving funds for G-8 security, and they say most of the new equipment they get will be put to good use when it comes to protecting the city.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com