Hundreds Turn Out for Mayor's Crime Meeting - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/14/05

Hundreds Turn Out for Mayor's Crime Meeting

Mayor Otis Johnson Mayor Otis Johnson
Are you fed up with crime? Apparently a lot of people in Savannah are, and they're answering the mayor's call to action. Just last week, Mayor Otis Johnson called the crime problem "out of control." Last night, hundreds of people turned out for his town hall meeting at the Savannah Civic Center.

More than 500 people crowded the civic center's ballroom. Many had their own ideas, but all agreed something needs to be done about crime.

"We're here tonight to talk about what we believe is causing this lawlessness and uncivil behavior," Mayor Johnson told the standing-room-only crowd, which listened attentively.

Seniors, students, parents and children filled the room, all with one thing in common: a concern about crime.

Some brought up problems, like teacher Margo Scott. "We have a problem because we have a serious breakdown in the social institutions. All of us are part of the problem."

Others offered solutions, like getting seniors involved in school and after school programs, to "be part of the school system as monitors, as safety patrols and if we can get them to be there that will help," said Savannah resdient Bertha Holmes.

Reeshema Johnson, single mother of four, told us, "Now, I'm excited to see something happen." What she shares with everyone in the room is the desire for a safe community for herself and her children. "My kids go to school in the community, as well. So it is very important that my children are safe."

The big challenge now is making that happen, a challenge the mayor says will take the help of the entire community.

After the meeting, people signed up for opportunities to help. The mayor says they'll discuss them more at future meetings.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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