Police Policy Committee votes 'yes' for officer take home cars

Police Policy Committee votes 'yes' for officer take home cars

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin is looking for ways to keep officers in his now fully staffed department.

One of the ways he knows he can do that, especially when it comes to retaining more experienced officers, is providing take home vehicles.

Chief Lumpkin gave his recommendations, and they were well received by the committee, which consists of Mayor Eddie DeLoach, County Chair Al Scott, and both the city and county managers.

Ultimately, the committee voted in favor of the chief's suggestions. There will be conditions though.

For instance, new officers won't be offered their own vehicles until they are about 29 months out of training. And cars will only be allowed to be taken home up to 27 miles outside the county, but no further.

There was a lot of talk about the security the police cars presence often has in neighborhoods, both in Savannah and in surrounding communities. Both the mayor and county chairman weighed in after the meeting.

"I am hoping there is some kind of angle we can come up with that benefits not only the city and the county, but also the officers, so that we can have a long time officer living in our neighborhood and in the downtown area," said Mayor DeLoach.

"I'm concerned about what goes on in the unincorporated areas, the city of Savannah, Pooler...and I agree with the mayor. We can come up with a program that offers some incentive to officers, to live in the metro area, I think it would have an impact on crime. We ought to look for opportunities," said Scott.

Along with taking the recommendation on the take home cars back to council and the county commission for a vote, the policy committee will also bring their recommendation of hiring Berkshire Advisors to consult for the police department, at a cost of just over $100,000.

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