The following is a statement from Acting City Manager Stephanie Cutter regarding the decision to bring in an outside agency to review concerns raised over crime reports:
"I appreciate the news coverage by our local media of concerns raised about crime reports in our area. However, I would like to clarify recent reports on the issue.
The headline on Friday's front page article and some television reports indicated that the FBI will be investigating the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. This is inaccurate.
From the beginning, Police Chief Willie Lovett and I have been in agreement that the Office of Professional Standards (sometimes referred to as Internal Affairs) conduct a thorough investigation of any complaints we receive, and that an external agency be invited to audit the investigation to avoid potential concerns of bias. The Chief and I have worked together on this plan and every action taken.
I requested that all complaints be forwarded to me. Fourteen were shared, and 11 have been investigated and now will be submitted for the external audit. Investigation continues on the other three.
The GBI informed us it is unable to perform the audit because no criminal activity is alleged. At the request of myself and Chief Lovett, the FBI agreed to audit the complaints. It is not investigating the department itself.
I am confident that the Chief and his department will move expeditiously to address any issues raised during the FBI review.