Divided opinions on proposed location of new police precinct - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Divided opinions on proposed location of new police precinct

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

After learning about the proposed location of a new Savannah-Chatham Metro Police precinct, some voiced their disapproval.

The county engineer is proposing the new precinct be placed just off Whitfield Avenue.

While at numerous neighborhood meetings on Savannah’s east side, some residents were calling for a precinct of some form along the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, among other suggestions.

SCMPD Police Chief Jack Lumpkin said this new precinct is needed because precinct 4, the Islands precinct, is simply too cramped.

County engineer Leon Davenport and his office was tasked with finding a location that fits all of the needs of a new police precinct.

Davenport said they were given an area to find a plot of land within, and picked the location because it’s already owned by the county.

The police chief said Thursday the location of the police precinct gives the perception of security, but doesn’t necessarily lower crime just because it’s there.

But folks who live and work along the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor said the crime there is very real.

"They were robbing this place over here, sticking them up about three or four times. They robbed the lotto place and beat the man up, take the money,” said Willie Primus, produce stand worker.

Two men at the produce stand in the area had different outlooks.

One said a police precinct in the area might stifle criminal activity just by being there, the other said the precinct is just a starting point for the officer’s shift. 

One resident who recently moved from the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, to an area right next to the site proposed for the new precinct, said the new precinct would certainly be welcome though the level of crime is much less than the area she just moved from.

"A police precinct over there is very well needed, and in demand,” said Paulette Christie, lives near proposed precinct site. "We just moved from over there, off of Pennsylvania Avenue. And trust me, they need to put three or four of them over there." 

Savannah-Chatham police leaders say the new precinct will take some of the patrol burden off the Islands precinct and create much needed space for offices and equipment.

"I would welcome the site and I think others around here should welcome the site also,” said Christie. 

SPLOST funds are already set aside for the project, and the commission will likely award a contract for the design phase during their next meeting.

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