Police merger agreement heads to City Council - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police merger agreement heads to City Council

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

The latest framework for the police merger agreement between Chatham County and the City of Savannah is back in City Council's hands.

It was a five to four vote in favor of the current version of the agreement, just passing through, and Commission members were granted seven minutes each to air any grievances.

Keep in mind, this is the latest of many deliberations between commissioners on this topic.

The city has only voted on the measure once, and that was just last month. Until that point, all discussions and negotiations had happened between city and county managers and other staff.

Since last July, officials on both sides have attempted to reach as close to a perfect agreement as possible, though several on the Commission say a perfect merger agreement is a pipe dream.

Commissioners Farrell, Center and Kicklighter maintained their stance that the current agreement is not a fair deal for the citizens of the unincorporated area.

Commissioner Kicklighter went as far as saying he's surprised a lawsuit hasn't been filed against the government, claiming the unincorporated area has little say over the current merged police force even though they pay taxes toward it.

"So, if they don't pass it, then what? That's my question,” said Patrick Farrell, District 4 Commissioner.

"We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it,” said Al Scott, County Commission Chairman.

Ultimately, the Commission passed the agreement five to four, and that now goes to Savannah City Council and City Manager Stephanie Cutter for consideration.

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