Officials Outline Search for New Police Chief - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/13/06

Officials Outline Search for New Police Chief

Savannah-Chatham police had a busy weekend, making arrests and putting people in jail. During their latest Operation Total Focus, police arrested 38 people, 13 for felonies like illegally having a gun. More than a hundred extra officers were working overtime hours to help with the sweep.

Interim Chief Willie Lovett says the operation goes along with his goal of reducing crime by 15 percent.

That's not just Lovett's goal. It's also the goal the Savannah and Chatham County managers' as they begin their search for a new police chief.

County manager Russ Abolt says he wants a chief that is familiar with metropolitan police departments and can balance the officers' needs with those of the community.

And he wants a chief with a vision. "Get folks focused on not just the reduction of crime but crime prevention," he said. "Also something that has not been said an awful lot about is to show where the responsibility of the police department begins and ends."

Abolt says police are making the arrests, now the rest of the justice systems needs to do a better job of keeping the criminals behind bars.

The city and county are going to hire a search firm and organized a citizens panel to find a new top cop, hopefully by mid June.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

 

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