What's next now that Chief Lovett has resigned? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

What's next now that Chief Lovett has resigned?

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

On the heels of Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett's resignation, Savannahians say they're hoping crime in the city turns a corner.

For years, the department has touted declining crime numbers, but many residents say that's not what they see in the streets.

"Crime is not down overall," said Rolfe Glover, who served on the mayor's public safety task force back in 2005. "The crimes that we care about, the one that grabs headlines is murders, those are up more than twice. Rapes are up, and assaults with a gun are up. Those are the things that can ruin your life."

Recently, crime has hit close to home for Glover, with a string of robberies reported last month near his home on historic Jones Street.

"Perhaps we can use the fact that now we've got to search for the chief as a time to really re-think what we're doing right and what we're doing that isn't working," Glover said.

Major Juliette Tolbert has been named interim police chief and becomes the city's first female chief. 

Finease Smith is hoping a new chief could mean a new take on her son's case. Last year, her teenage son, Tiyates Franklin, was shot to death on River Street. Police say they found the killer, but a murder charge was dropped against Lanard Mikell. the explanation changed to self-defense, after the District Attorney's office built a 97-count gang indictment with Mikell as the centerpiece. Smith has this to say about the now-former chief.

"He got on TV and said himself that the guy who shot my son was going to be released, but the case isn't over. I don't feel justice. I don't feel, like how would you let him out and you know he murdered my son?"

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