Savannah crime continues to raise concern - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Crime continues to raise concern

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The City Council workshop included a discussion about crime. The City Council workshop included a discussion about crime.
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The Savannah City Council on Thursday discussed recent crime that has occurred in the city.

Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson said she spoke with Police Chief Willie Lovett and Acting City Manager Stephanie Cutter on Wednesday and is confident the chief has a handle on the latest violence and that they are doing their jobs.

Crime not the main focus of Thursday's work session, but it was discussed - specifically violence that is concerning some members of the City Council.

Alderman Tony Thomas pointed out three shootings - two resulting in deaths - this week alone.

Jackson said these "pockets of violence" are not related to one another and that after speaking with Lovett, she warns the public not to get too emotional - too fast.

"You know, sometimes - one thing will cause a kind of chain reaction and we are hoping this is not the case, but you have had three incidents in one area - but you also have incidents in other areas," Jackson said.

Is the tourism community nervous about what some call a violent crime problem?

One of the goals in 2013 is to increase safety on walking tours in Savannah - whether it's a direct move related to recent crime - the companies won't say.

They are only saying they always want to be safe for customers. But tourism officials say violent crime is hard to ignore.

"Let's face it. People are just like you and me, they are paying attention to that," said Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah.

Marinelli said there is no doubt people looking to visit Savannah  are reading about it and checking the headlines. He said that if high-profile crime activity continues, it will impact the community, tourism and jobs.

But he added that there have been several high profile murders over the last few years and they've still seen tourism grow in Savannah.

The message from City Hall on Thursday was let the police do their job and that random acts of violence is not only a Savannah problem - it's a nationwide problem.

Lovett was not at the City Council workshop on Thursday morning. Some said he should to answer these questions. Others said Lovett has more important business to handle, like leading his department in solving these crimes.

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