Chatham Co. Commission on police merger agreement - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chatham Co. Commission on police merger agreement


We are just 15 days into the new Savannah City Council, and already the Chatham County Board of Commissioners is ready to meet with them about the police merger agreement.

Friday at the commission meeting, 3rd District Commissioner Tony Center talked about getting the new council’s thoughts on the merger and the ongoing discussion. Center says in an effort to be transparent with the public, he wanted to address the meetings that have taken place with new city council members regarding the police merger agreement.

Center led off by saying since the new Savannah City Council members and mayor have been elected, several county commissioners have reached out to them, not only to open the lines of communication, but to also drum up a dialogue regarding the police merger that wasn't possible with the previous administration.

"To let them hear what commissioners who did not vote for the last agreement, what their concerns were, and to see if we could move both bodies closer together,” said Commissioner Center.

Center also noted that all meetings between the members of the commission and council have happened within the parameters set by Georgia's open meetings law.

"We've had very good meetings, and we think we're very confident that both sides will get one document, and that everybody can say this is the document...if we go that road,” said Center.

He says while that compromise may not be perfect in the end, it will be something that both sides can work with.

"Some of the members of the Commission, primarily the one who's a lawyer, suggest that we revisit it and both bodies re-vote. But we haven't gotten to that position as of yet,” said Commission Chairman Al Scott.

But Scott says that's something he's open to, should it come to that.

"If everybody's in agreement that they want to revisit it, we can put it back before both bodies and vote on it. Just for clarity. But as far as I'm concerned we have a signed contract,” said Chairman Scott.

Chairman Scott also says he's for less government, and in the future looks forward to talking with Mayor Eddie DeLoach about merging other operations.

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