Savannah officials look to other cities for crime solutions - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah officials look to other cities for crime solutions

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

City officials are calling it "the story that repeats itself." In the last three days, there have been seven shootings. Records indicate shootings spike in cities nationwide during the summer months.

Alderman Tony Thomas says he is tired of the same story every year. He says obviously what the city is doing is not working, so they are looking at how other cities are cracking down on crime.  

"It has got to be a difference in what we have been doing," said Alderman Thomas.  

Thomas says something needs to change. It is a trend Savannah is familiar with in the summer, but folks can only speculate why.

"Well, it seems like when that summer heat kicks in, so does the desire to go out and shoot somebody," said Thomas.  

He says the whole community should be held accountable.  

"For the community to think that the police are the only solution to this is the wrong answer. We have got to all work together," said Thomas.  

He suggests there needs to be more outreach from churches and community organizations. In the meantime, city officials are looking to cities like Chattanooga for help.

"You know, recently, we had the mayor here from Chattanooga. We are looking at the program that they are doing up there," said Thomas.  

According to the mayor's website in Chattanooga, they have a violence reduction initiative; a strategy that is based off the guidelines of the National Network of Safe Communities.

"It does seem like they have something up there that is making a dent in their crime problems," said Thomas.

Even as they look at other cities for answers, they are also looking for a new police chief who can help make these changes in Savannah.

"We are going to have to rely heavily on whoever is hired in that position to find a lot of these best practices a lot the solutions we need in this community," said Thomas.

They hope to have to have new chief selected by September. For more information about the strategies they are using in Chattanooga:

http://www.nnscommunities.org/index.php

http://www.andyberke.com/news-1/chattanooga-violence-reduction-initiative

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