Savannah City Council, police chief talk crime

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A list that keeps growing. Wednesday night, a teenager shot in the Savannah High School parking lot.

Early Thursday morning, another teen shot in the Ogeechee Farms area.

In a little over a month, 10 young people have been shot in eight incidents. One victim who died, just 6-years-old. Since Sunday, four teens were shot. Three hurt and one killed.

Violence, one of the many topics brought up during today's Savannah City Council meeting. The chief presented council the numbers, and in comparison to the same month last year, the numbers are down but there is still a lot of work to be done.

"There have been since November 1, 23 homicides. It is the most amount of homicides in our entire city we need some help, the citizens need some help," said District 5 Alderman Dr. Estella Shabazz.

Dr. Shabazz questioned the chief on the high murder rate in the central precinct compared to others. She says the root of the problem is poverty and lack of education.

"There's been this sickening number of 25, 26 and 27 percent of poverty. When are we going to address this thing and reduce the percentage of poverty in our city," Dr. Shabazz said.

She says it's going to take the whole community to come together, including the county and the school board to make a difference by offering more jobs and opportunities.

"When it comes to crime there are just certain factors that create crime and I do believe that we've got to stop putting Band-Aids on this situation of crime," said Dr. Shabazz.

The chief also talked about their improved technology including license plate readers and surveillance cameras. The council approved 24 cameras in 11 locations back in august but because of delays only nine have been installed so far.

"I've got room for a lot of improvement, we've got room for a lot of improvement in the city police department. I think we're moving in the right direction again and I just say bear with us, we're turning this ship around it's taken time but we're headed in the right direction and the numbers are trending down so I'm excited long term," said Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach.

Hurricane Matthew and vendor issues caused those delays for the security cameras. But the chief and the mayor are hopeful they will continue to see crime numbers to drop in the future.

Copyright 2016 WTOC. All rights reserved.