Merge Dissolve: Is the ball rolling? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Merge Dissolve: Is the ball rolling?

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

City officials are back in the office Monday after the decision to terminate the merger agreement last Friday. 

We met with City Manager Rob Hernandez to see what they're doing to get the ball rolling. 

Hernandez tells us they haven't started the planning process to dissolve the merger. He says they'll get there in due time. He made the decision just three days ago and says what they do know is they are planning to reconstitute the police department. How? Well, no one knows that answer yet. He added, surprisingly, that he hasn't received a single phone call or email from anyone in the community expressing opposition to the decision so far. Hernandez things taxpayers simply want to get the most out of the money coming out of their wallets. 

"I think by the sheer fact I haven't received any phone calls or emails, that is a signal to me that they agree with the city council's decision that we focus on public safety needs in the city of Savannah, first and foremost," said Rob Hernandez, Savannah City Manager. 

We did ask Hernandez if there was any chance the dissolve of this merger won't go through. 

"I can't predict the future. I don't know what's going to happen, but the city is moving forward with reconstituting the police department, but who knows what will happen in the future," Hernandez said. 

Hernandez adds everyone has a position. The police departments are not the decision-makers.
He is not the decision-maker. The city manager simply implements the plan that our elected officials choose.

But the Garden City police chief says he - and other police chiefs in surrounding areas - have never been consulted. This goes back to when the city and county merged in the first place.

Garden City Police Chief David Lyons says they don't need his permission, but they should consider his expertise.

"There are council members, county commissioners, that have no idea really the ins and outs of this profession. They've never worked in it. They've never been a police chief. They've never been a police officer. I would hope they would solicit input from those of us that have been there and done that,” Chief Lyons said.

Chief Lyons said his department will be directly affected by the ending of this merger, but especially when it comes down to the Savannah 911 center that helps them. That's their lifeline.

He says they rely on that every minute of every day and certainly should be consulted with any decisions regarding that moving forward.

WTOC will continue to follow the city's agenda and what exactly the plan is, come February of 2018.

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