Police increasing presence in City Market after shooting

Police increasing presence in City Market after shooting

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department is stepping up their presence in the City Market area after a recent shooting on July 17.

Friday nights are busy for City Market, second only to Saturday nights and I've seen several officers on patrol already as part of the effort.

"Metro is beefing up patrol and we have extra units that are doing extra patrols downtown and in the City Market area," said Lt. Darold Holmes, SCMPD.

Although police wouldn't disclose just how many more officers will be on the street, they said they will especially be keeping an eye out the later it gets and as the bars and clubs close.

"We have other officers and other resources that will be shifted down here to help reduce crime and to keep our community and our patrons safe," said Lt. Holmes.

Last weekend's shooting happened around 1 a.m. Sunday when police say a 25-year-old was shot after getting into an altercation with two people.

Police tell me those later hours are when the risk of crime spikes.

"If it's after dark, I'm usually with a group anyway, but I would definitely not want to be down here after 10 o'clock walking by myself," said Lisa Sikes, City Market regular.

Sikes visits City Market often to support local bands. She told me fear of crime doesn't dictate her decision to keep coming back.

"I may be on guard more so now with everything going on, but other than I'm not going to let it stop me from seeing a beautiful city and the different cultures that are here," said Sikes.

"It's not going to affect me period because I don't get involved with stuff like that," said Frank Simpson, Savannah resident.

Simpson was here in City Market the night of that shooting last weekend. He told me if violence like this keeps happening, he may stop coming down here altogether. But in the meantime, he's holding out hope.

"From your point of view, is City Market a dangerous place," I asked.

"No, not to me," Simpson replied.

I also reached out to WTOC Safety and Security Expert Gary Glemboski on Friday to get his take on how you can be smart when you're out, no matter where you are.

He told me it's important to adjust your awareness depending on your surroundings. You should pay more attention in downtown areas - especially where it's crowded - the later and darker it gets.

And trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right, just walk away.

He says people are often afraid to act on feelings because they don't want to offend anyone, but political correctness doesn't trump your safety.

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