Rebuilding trust in Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Dept.? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Rebuilding trust in SCMPD?

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Former Police Chief Willie Lovett Former Police Chief Willie Lovett
Alderman Tony Thomas Alderman Tony Thomas
Rolfe Glover Rolfe Glover

A criminal investigation is underway of Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Dept. officers is being handled by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

One of the officers has now been fired by the city of Savannah after the investigation by an outside agency and the report was released. 

The report details serious allegations in some cases criminal allegations - undermining fellow officers, cover up and more.

The public's trust may be shattered and critics are saying 'I told you so'.

"There is a lot more to come. I think we are at the tip of the iceberg with all of this, and it doesn't look good already," said Alderman Tony Thomas.

Thomas first brought up police reporting issues almost a year ago - causing a riff with then Police Chief Willie Lovett, who retired in September.

Now Lovett is on the receiving end of various legal complaints. In this investigation, he's accused of inadequate and unprofessional behavior.

"Chief Lovett will ultimately have to stand for any actions that he did," Thomas said.  

Meanwhile, he's linked to three of his officers whose actions are being blamed for eroding the public's trust.

"I think we have a ways to go before we can close this dark chapter in Savannah's history. We have a lot left to be resolved - still other cases out there. I don't think this investigation is completely finished," Thomas said.

"It really sends a corrosive message to all the officers doing a good job in the department," said Rolfe Glover.

Glover was appointed to the city's Public Safety Task Force by former Mayor Otis Johnson. He said the police investigation report was shocking and made a mockery of the department.

 "The implication is there will be more reports though the bigger issue is I don't think we need more reports; we need a fundamental change. It is clear the department is ineffective and morale is awful," Glover said.

"There needs to be action. This speaks very poorly for our community when you have issues like this and the world is watching," Thomas said.

I played phone tag with Mayor Edna Jackson on Friday and Interim Police Chief Julie Tolbert was in meetings all day.

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