City gets 54 applicants for SCMPD police chief so far - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

City gets 54 applicants for police chief so far


Officials from the city and county met Thursday morning at a Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Dept. Public Policy Committee meeting for an update in the search for a new police chief.

The job has been posted in publications nationwide and so far 54 people have applied.

County Commission Chairman Al Scott brought up several concerns about some of the details that were posted, including the job salary.

Scott made several recommendations to City Manager Stephanie Cutter, who has the final say in the selection process.

He said they need a background check that goes back 20 years so they can weed out any applicants who have skeletons in their closet.

Scott said the job salary may need to be adjusted. It is posted in the job description that the next chief will make between $125,000- $145,000.

Scott said that could be too low because he said it's only based off the population of Savannah, not including the 90,000 people in the unincorporated areas.

"I don't want to inject what I think someone should be making, I can just tell you, for the type of person we need to attract, the salary would be low," said Scott.

The city manager will take these recommendations and collaborate with the human resources department before making adjustments.


More than 450 people have weighed in online, telling officials what traits they're looking for in a new Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police chief.

"[the new chief] cannot come in here with the attitude that it's about me, ‘I am the chief' sort of attitude," said Mayor Edna Jackson.

City and county officials said before they review who has applied, they want to know how the public is responding.

"The concerns are about the community, what they want to see in a chief," said Jackson.

The survey revealed the top three priorities: crime reduction, increased investigations and reducing response times.

Officials are also looking at the top five choices for desired background and professional experience.

People want the next chief to have:

  1. Extensive experience in the field of law enforcement
  2. Track record of reducing crime
  3. Experience with a metropolitan police department
  4. Understanding of how to serve a community like City of Savannah and Chatham County
  5. Experience in a variety of law enforcement assignments

With only a month left for people to apply for the job, the city and county continue to ask for your feedback.

"Because that person coming in will not only represent Savannah, for all of Chatham County,
 said Jackson.

The job will be posted through May 19, but it could be extended depending on how long it takes to make the recommended changes to the recruitment information.

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