Chief Willie Lovett touts police success; addresses recent crime - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chief Lovett touts police department successes; addresses recent violence

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Savannah and crime seem to be a recurring connected theme these days for residents around town. 

Savannah city council had the discussion with Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett Thursday. 

First, Lovett highlighted the successes his precinct commanders have had this summer, from Roll Call in the Streets to Project Cease Fire, with 93 cases since last year presented to federal prosecutors. However, violence and shootings plaguing city streets is what the presentation eventually circled back around to.  

The chief covered a lot of ground in an hour and a half, from police bike patrols, Lock It or Lose It on auto theft prevention, crackdowns on graffiti, All Hands on Deck and other initiatives for crime prevention. 

Lovett says using youth summer camps to prevent crime has been key but it was juveniles, and their reaction to recent crime, which drew alderman Johnson to ask a question about what he called the desensitization of violence after recent shootings, specifically last week on Gwinnett Street near where he held a meeting and he saw the stone cold reaction of two young boys. 

"That is going to take an effort because they have become desensitized and that is not something we can cure overnight," Chief Lovett said.  

"The elephant in the room is we are not talking about, in every statistical category, African-American males. A relatively small segment of our county population has explosive statistics and I think we have to start looking at if we solve that issue we solve our crime problem," Johnson told WTOC. 

The chief says he's always looking at those issues. 

Johnson says he hopes to brainstorm with community leaders for some answers and solutions as well. 

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