Crime report numbers are down for 2017 in Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - With just five days left in 2017, we're taking a closer look at how violent crime is trending right now, compared to this same time last year in the city of Savannah.

While Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach was reading his statement regarding the news that Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin is resigning, he said several times that the chief is leaving Savannah in a better place than when he got here.

Mayor DeLoach pointed to "Part One" - or property and violent - crime stats attributed the progress to the guidance of Chief Lumpkin over the past few years.

"Chief Lumpkin leaves Savannah in a much better place than when he arrived, including a double-digit drop in part-one crime, nine percent drop in violent crime and a 32 percent drop in homicides in 2017 from 2016," Mayor DeLoach said.

Here's a look at just a few categories of "Part One" violent and property crime right now, compared to this time last year. Homicides and street robbery cases are down, while commercial robbery and rape cases are up.

Looking at property crime, both commercial and residential burglaries are down, while shoplifting is up.

Mayor DeLoach says the progress made will not be lost with the departure of Chief Lumpkin next month.

"The citizens have my word that we will continue these trends in crime reduction. Our police force is stronger than ever with the enhancements of our 2018 budget. We will continue on the path to a safer Savannah," Mayor DeLoach said.

Looking at total "Part One" crime jurisdiction-wide, SCMPD reports just over 800 cases less than this time last year.

But now the search begins for a new chief, and even though the mayor says he doesn't believe Lumpkin's departure will have a negative impact on the changes in culture at the department, or slow the progress made, one other council member I spoke to says he still had concerns.

"The culture changes, and sometimes some of the old cultures try to revert back to what they used to do. So obviously for that reason alone, Chief's departure is a concern to me," District 1 Alderman Van Johnson said.

Alderman Johnson said he'd like to work with the new chief on restoring some of the services and partnerships of the Savannah Impact Program, which he believes is vital in curbing criminal behavior before it turns into "Part One" crime.

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