Downtown Neighborhood Association Police Meeting - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/01/04

Downtown Neighborhood Association Police Meeting

Are you worried about crime? Some downtown Savannah neighbors talked safety with police last night. Close to a hundred people turned out for the Downtown Neighborhood Association's special meeting. They talked about everything from cleaning up graffiti to the police department merger.

"A lot of times we don't get the message we need to get from police reports and email," said Capt. Claire McCluskey with SCMPD. "It's very important, it's important for us to be here to listen. It's important for us to be here to share and educate."

"I think that it will also make the police department more available to the public," said DNA president Dian Brownfield. "They see that the police are interested enough to come here."

Police talking with the Downtown Neighborhood Association got a lot of feedback, covering a handful of topics. Of course one of the biggest issues with law enforcement in the Savannah area is the merger of Savannah and Chatham County police. A lot of these changes are things citizens might not see on the street so much, but officers definitely notice.

"I suppose it's like any corporate merger," said Capt. McCluskey. "The best way I can describe it, probably they don't see as much change right away. We have undergone a tremendous amount of change."

"We can compare with other areas around the country that have merged city and county police, and most of them take four to five years to get done," added Chief Dan Flynn. "We will be substantially complete by the end of this year."

One of the issues they talked about quite a bit last night was a seasonal problem. Car break-ins. Police are urging people to not leave anything of value in their cars right now.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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