Speak Out Editorial- 08/14/14 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Speak Out Editorial- 08/14/14

Savannah has worked hard to earn its reputation as "Hostess City of the South", but that hard earned accolade is in danger of falling to the wayside in light of this summer's spike in violent crimes. 

In just a 19 day period, the city experienced a staggering 20 shootings. Before you  turn your head and scoff that this is limited to just a small part of our town, think again!   

These violent crimes are already gaining the attention of would be tourists and visitors to our area via travel sites, blogs, and certainly word of mouth. 

Crime impacts us all, whether you live and work in Chatham County or not. Both our elected officials and police department have come under fire as of late. Some of the criticism is deserved, but does anyone really think that these two entities don't have the safety of our citizens and visitors at heart?

But it's time for them to present a concrete plan to an understandably impatient community. Our editorial board believes that the crisis has deeper roots. One of our initial observations was that our police presence was inadequate for a city of our size, but upon further investigation and comparing Savannah to other cities, our ratio of officers to citizens was comparable to some of the larger markets in the country, including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia  and Chicago, to name a few. 

Candidly, we really don't know what the answer is to our violent crime problem. What we do know however is that this issue needs to be discussed openly and urgently. At risk is the reputation of our city, the bounty of tourism dollars that we all benefit from, but most importantly the safety of our citizens and visitors. 

What do you think??

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