Savannah City Council discussing police merger once again

Savannah City Council discussing police merger once again

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - It wasn't placed on the Savannah City Council agenda until Thursday morning, but council members got another opportunity to talk about the police merger agreement.

It was only in the work session, though, because not all the council members were on board with the latest draft.

The mayor made a motion for the latest draft between the Chatham County Commission and City Council to be considered in Thursday's meeting, but City Manager Stephanie Cutter was just one opposing voice, expressing concern because of the results - or lack thereof - from past negations with the county.

The mayor gave the floor to Alderman Julian Miller to explain what language has changed in the latest merger proposal. Miller says he was approached by several county commissioners, including Tony Center, about working out some of the differences between the two governing bodies.

One solution agreed upon and reflected in the new proposal was GPS units being placed in police cars to guarantee an even spread of police coverage between the city and county. The other is to create a study committee with a representative from the city, one from the county and one independent to make sure costs for the merged department are spread fairly.

Again, the latest proposal was tabled Thursday, but there's a possibility it could be voted on in county commission next week.

"And that's something that I would hope that they would do, but I haven't had a chance to talk with any of them," said Alderman Miller.

"Because they are working off the same document right now?" Miller was asked.

"They have exactly the same document," replied Miller.

"With that change language that you all hashed out yourselves?" Miller was asked.

"Exactly," he replied.

Two other opposing voices during the council work session were Alderman John Hall and Alderwoman Dr. Estella Shabazz.

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