Crime meeting held for Savannah's 6th District residents - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Crime meeting held for Savannah's 6th District residents

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Residents living in Savannah’s 6th District got the chance Tuesday night to discuss crime in the area with the district’s alderman and officials.

The event was held at the White Bluff United Methodist Church by Alderman Tony Thomas.

Alderman Thomas said while the crime issues spiking in his district might not be part of violent crimes we've seen over the past week in other areas of town, they are still enough to make life miserable for people and make them want to move out.

Property crimes are up 21 percent in this precinct, and that includes home burglaries. Just last month, the Southside Precinct responded to 18 thefts from vehicles, and nine residential burglaries.

Police say around 60 percent of cases involving items being stolen from cars happen because the car was unlocked. And more than a third of home burglaries happen in apartment complexes, primarily between the hours of noon and 4 p.m.

"Daytime residential burglaries, entry in the rear of the residence, that's a common factor. We want to educate people to that. Alarm systems, neighborhood watch where we look out for one another. There are a lot different strategies that we are going to talk about tonight,” Maj. Larry Branson, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department, said.

In addition to Operation Ceasefire efforts, Alderman Thomas said he already has an initiative in the works called the South Savannah Crime Collaborative.

"That’s going to be more of a volunteer-based organization. We are going to get together business leaders, community leaders, folks that are genuinely interested in looking at initiatives and ways of fighting crime and reducing crime, and working together to do something positive there,” Alderman Thomas said.

Thomas polled the audience for an unofficial count of who would like an automatic call, or robo-call, if a crime happened on their street.
Most of the hundred or so people raised a hand.

Ultimately, police and city leaders called for the same community-law enforcement cooperation that they've asked for in relation to Operation Ceasefire.
"I think we have to have that kind of communion between our law enforcement and our citizens. Because together I think that's the only way we are going to combat all this crime. It's sad when you don't feel like you can walk out in your yard at night,” said Pat Tellen, 6th District resident.

Alderman Thomas made an observation of the makeup of the predominantly white audience, and issued a challenge of sorts, saying the Southside has about 50 percent black residency, 50 percent white and other. He said all residents need to show interest, in order for these crime-reducing initiatives to work.

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