Will the City of Savannah call in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate claims the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department may have falsified, or even ignored filing, police reports?
Acting Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter is expecting to meet with Chief Willie Lovett to complete her investigation, as early as Friday.
WTOC spoke with Chief Lovett earlier this week. He said he has taken, and investigated, all of the complaints he has received, which he says was more than a dozen. Lovett will put together a report that he will deliver and discuss with the city manager.
Last month, aldermen Tony Thomas and Van Johnson blasted the department, claiming a number of residents had expressed concerns about police not taking police reports, and even alleging it may have been an organized effort to lower the crime rate. 2012 was the lowest in Savannah's recorded history.
One of the people raising questions and making charges is a former soldier and Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officer, Steven Hummel, who left the department in December. One month later, Hummel told WTOC he was instructed to change crimes to lesser offenses, among other allegations.
The chief tells WTOC his investigation is complete and he planned on meeting with the city manager this week. It hasn't happened yet, but Cutter says she is waiting.
"I hope to receive that there are no policy violations. Of course, I have not received the report as of yet. If there are policy violations, then we will turn that over to the GBI for further investigation," Cutter told WTOC.
If the city manager's investigation finds no wrong doing, she will simply ask the chief to keep an eye on precincts where complaints occurred. The chief said he stands behind the department's system for police reports. They go from the officer after it is written to a sergeant, then they get processed, then they come to the chief's desk and then get a final approval from a review committee.