SCMPD chief talks resignation, department future

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - For the first time since announcing his resignation, we're hearing from Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin.

In Thursday's news conference, Chief Lumpkin outlined why he believes he's leaving behind a better and more capable department to curb the city's crime

The chief says one of the perks to taking the job in DeKalb County is it will move him closer to his four grandchildren, who all live in Athens or Atlanta.

But when asked if the demerger of the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department played a role in his decision to leave, he said he'd rather not discuss the demerger issue and had this to say instead.

"The community will continue to progress. I think the forthcoming Savannah PD will be prosperous and deliver quality service. I also think the Chatham County Police will provide quality service for its residents," Chief Lumpkin said.

The chief says during his time at the department, relationships have mended and become more productive with other local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies as crime-reducing initiatives have progressed.

Chief Lumpkin said, "Intelligence-led policing is a focus on those who are causing the most harm in the community. We are understanding that better than ever, we are much better than we were when only a few people understood it in the department .. three years ago, I believe."

Chief Lumpkin said while policing techniques have improved, technology is still an area that needs work, and is currently getting the attention that it's needed.

When it comes to his successor, Chief Lumpkin said he hasn't talked to Savannah leadership about the search or the interim leadership.

The city manager's office says the search has begun, and they're currently working with a search firm to establish the criteria and search strategies.

One of the next steps is for City Manager Rob Hernandez to recommend to council an acting chief while the search continues.

You can watch Chief Lumpkin's full news conference below:

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