City leaders discuss Savannah's crime problem at town hall meeti - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

City leaders discuss Savannah's crime problem at town hall meeting

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Crime in Savannah: Addressing it was the platform every alderman ran on this past election.

Now, some people are looking to city council for answers.

The topic of crime took center stage at Monday night’s town hall meeting hosted by Alderman John Hall. Agenda items ranged from public works to sanitation issues, but it wasn't until later in the meeting that the crime conversation was brought up by some in the crowd.

"To me, it's like there's an elephant in the room and nobody wants to address it,” said Linda Wilder-Bryan, 3rd district resident.

Wilder-Bryan lives around the corner from Johnson High School, where Monday’s meeting was held. She told WTOC she's had enough of the crime going around her.

"Every night I hear sirens, I hear the police, I hear EMS...and every time I hear that, I think about my son,” she said.

Her son who was murdered in Savannah in August of last year. She was just one of many looking for answers when it comes to the city's crime problem.

Alderman Hall hosted the meeting for the residents in his district. A district that has seen a dozen robberies and about twice as many car thefts since the beginning of the year.

"We just had some homicides over in this area, some recent shootings. We have some work to do, we have some work to do,” said Alderman Hall.
According to police at the meeting, violent crime in the district has increased compared to this time last year, and property crime has tripled.

Now, Hall says he's pushing for judges to stop releasing repeat criminals on bail.

"This has to stop. The police are doing all they can, but the judiciary has to do their job,” said Alderman Hall.

Though a lot of people are looking to the council for answers, Hall said they can't do it all, that they're counting on you, too.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach is hoping the city's "Summer 500" internship plan will get Savannah's youth off the streets.

"Instead of being at the house, not having anything to do, they'll have a job, earning money. That's going to make a difference in somebody's life. Somebody's not going to die this summer, because they're going to be in the program and they're not going to have that happen to them,” said Mayor DeLoach.

DeLoach also challenged everyone at Monday's meeting to hold his feet to the fire. He said the entire council needs to be held accountable as they steer the course for addressing Savannah's crime rate.

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