Residents, police talk downtown crime - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Residents, police talk downtown crime

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Crime is on a lot of people's minds in Savannah.

On Wednesday night, public safety was the focus of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s meeting.

Crime, and what to do about it, wasn't the only topic discussed but it certainly was the one that got the most attention.

"Downtown specifically we have had a lot of package theft.  More recently in the last week, which is extremely disturbing, there have been some Molotov cocktails,” said Melinda Allen, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.

One of those fires burned a woman out of her home, and that's not all. Allen says there have also been a lot of muggings and car break-ins.

"All of those things are important to residents, tourists, students and nobody likes to feel unsafe,” said Allen.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin said the department is doing what they can, and that he would like to see more bike and foot patrols downtown. He also says more cameras will soon be watching.

"What it means for you all in your community is that we have more cameras in this area than we have anywhere else in the city. At some point we will figure out how to integrate your cameras into our system where we can pull cameras in if you allow,” said Chief Lumpkin.

The chief also expressed some of his frustration.

"But we need about 500 of those bad fellas in jail and the state needs to stop turning them loose,” said Chief Lumpkin.

But Lumpkin isn't the only one frustrated. This woman, whose son was a murder victim, thinks police need to build a better relationship on the street.

"You are not listening to what people are saying. This snitch thing that they've got going on—people would be willing to talk to them and tell them, but this is where they come in. They come in at the height of a crime and push this in your face and give you a card. People who live in these communities they are not going to do that but if their presence is there at least once a month, then it’s not like I'm snitching. I'm telling you everything because you are building a rapport,” said Linda Wilder-Bryan, concerned resident.

Another man told the chief that he thinks more officers walking the streets would make a difference. He said he knows his postman on a first name basis, but has no idea who any of the police are.  

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