Alderman Van Johnson speaks out about dissolved police merger - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Alderman Van Johnson speaks out about dissolved police merger

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

We are now hearing from the only Savannah City council member who was not present to vote on the police merger agreement.

Alderman Van Johnson did not participate in the vote because of any perceived conflicts of interest. Johnson works for the county and city. 

Alderman Van Johnson told us he is disappointed, calling it a colossal failure on the city and the county because of a failure to communicate on the most important issue in our community, which is public safety.

Van Johnson told us even though he didn't vote he does have an opinion and went on to say if the city and the county can't work out the issue of metro police what about all the other intergovernmental agreements between the two parties.

He spoke on the agreement that's suppose to be terminated in February of 2018 saying we can make this work for the citizens of Savannah and unincorporated Chatham County. He wants to be able to keep the lines of communication open with the county and be able to sit down at the table and work out any issues between the two groups.

"A Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department is Paramount for us in terms of public safety," said Alderman Van Johnson, District 1. "We have too many police departments already, the better we are in terms of consolidating police departments and have them talking together and working together, crime does not know geographical boundaries."

Johnson continues to say, "I think we need to keep communicating and I think we have brillant people who work for the City of Savannah and Chatham County. Let's get them in and let's work this thing. If we reach an agreement on this it might be arrived from doing it another way."

Johnson expressed he is disappointed by the lack of communication on both sides. In the meantime, the county has already created a transition team and is asking the city to create one as well so they can start splitting things up. 

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