SCMPD begins its search for a new chief of police - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Search begins for new SCMPD Chief

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The search is on for SCMPD's new chief of police The search is on for SCMPD's new chief of police
Deborah Free is hoping for a more trustworthy chief of police Deborah Free is hoping for a more trustworthy chief of police
District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas is looking for an "up-front" chief of police District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas is looking for an "up-front" chief of police
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The search is now on for a new Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief after Willie Lovett announced his retirement last week.

City officials and their constituents weighed in Monday on the qualities they want in a new police chief, and there seems to be one recurring characteristic: honesty.

Deborah Free owns Five Star Cleaners in District 6 and says there's still too much crime to fight.

"We have our usual break-in's. We've had a couple of murders over here on Windsor Forrest," said Free.

So when it comes to a new chief of police, Free says she wants someone more involved. "What I'd like to see is someone active in the community," she said.

After recent events with the former chief, Free says there needs to be more transparency within the department. "Up-front. And when it comes to the public, if an officer does something wrong, don't try to hide it."

"Up-front" is something her alderman, Tony Thomas, is asking for, too.

"Qualities for any chief in District 6 would be honesty," says District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas. "Someone who's out there working to deter crime and to fight the crime that we already have. Also, running a department that's not riddled with all of these scandals and questions."

The county and the city will work together to select a new chief of police. The search will be  nation-wide and could take up to 12 months. While this is a collaborative effort, according to the police merger agreement, the final decision lies in the hands of City Manager Stephanie Cutter.

In the coming weeks, Cutter plans to meet with the Police Policy Committee, which is made up of both city and county officials, to begin the process.

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