Battle for the Badge: The investigation begins

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - You may remember back in July, Savannah City Council voted to terminate the agreed police merger between the city and county, effective February 1, 2018.

WTOC received a copy of a letter that was sent from the Savannah city manager to all of the employees of the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department. The two-page letter talks about the decision to dissolve the Metro merger between the city and county. In the first paragraph, Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez says, "while the city adopted Berkshire's 47 recommendations, the county failed to keep its promises and dismissed the report in its entirety, going on to say that our philosophies and approaches to public safety were vastly different."

A key player in the new Chatham County Police Department was believed by many to be Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher. When asked by WTOC, Sheriff Wilcher responded with assurance that his office would be ready if called upon.

Now, all indications are that the Chatham County Commission Chairman and the County Manager have made a decision about the future of law enforcement in Chatham County. The county posted job openings for the new force in August.

Now, the real question is the real cost of a new Chatham County Police Department. Is the determination to create an entirely new department instead of expanding the sheriff's office really cost effective? Or is it a power play?

WTOC's David Klugh's investigation into the real cost of the new Chatham County Police Department will air at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26.

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