SCMPD's Code Blue increases police presence in high crime areas - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCMPD's Code Blue increases police presence in high crime areas

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Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are making a full court press to tackle summer crime.

The SCMPD is putting officers who normally work behind a desk back on the street. Each and every officer, from Chief Julie Tolbert on down, has been spending time in a uniform and walking Savannah's streets.

In an exclusive interview, WTOC spoke to Mariella Neminac who was robbed at gun point Monday night in Savannah's Victorian District.

She said she wishes there would have been more police presence when this happened because she had no idea what was happening when five teens surrounded her.

"I saw one pointing a gun straight to my forehead," she said.

Since not every crime can be prevented, authorities said they're working on solving Neminac's case.

"We empathize with the victim, her concerns, her fears, and we're gonna be there for her," they said.

Neminac was shaken by the robbery, but not deterred. She's working toward strengthening her neighborhood's crime watch.

In the end, the criminals only got away with the $3 in her wallet. They wanted to steal her car, but luckily for Neminac, they were unsuccessful.

"They couldn't start it," she said.

Authroities are targeting high crime areas and working to build relationships with residents. The idea is that increased visibility drives down crime.

"It's good, old fashioned police work," said Maj. Richard Zapal. "We're going out there and hitting the areas where we know we've got numbers rising or that have been steady. And we put the people out there. They know what they're doing. They know what to look for, and they're identifying the people that they need to identify."

The operation will continue through the summer and may be extended.

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