SCMPD chief reports violent crime reduction at Chatham Co. Commission meeting

SCMPD chief reports violent crime reduction at Chatham Co. Commission meeting

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Crime stats, recruiting and new technology updates headline a presentation given to the Chatham County Commission Friday by Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin.

While the chief insists he is still building the department he wants, we are seeing an impact on violent crime.

Chief Lumpkin led off with a look at the crime numbers jurisdiction-wide, showing that reduction in violent crime overall, even with slightly higher numbers in areas like commercial robberies and aggravated assaults with guns.

As the presentation shifted to technology, the chief highlighted the recent installation of automatic vehicle locators and security cameras. The chief pointed out the cameras are primarily in the city, because fiber is needed for more rural areas, and that's more expensive.

Talk shifted to recruitment and attrition. The department hit full staff last year, but when asked by commission Friday, said he could use 100 more officers.

Commissioner Tabitha Odell asked once the numbers of officers in the department starts to scale back, would crime increase. Chief Lumpkin said he doesn't think so.

"If you improve your technology and you improve your work ethic and you improve your culture, it can be done. And I can give you some examples of other cities that have done this," said Chief Lumpkin.

Lumpkin cited San Diego as an example but told commissioners he would find more comparable-sized cities at the next meeting.  The chief also said he's done ridealongs with police in New Orleans and New York City recently to see how their operations run.

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