SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah City Council has renewed an ongoing contract with Chatham County, fulfilling their end of the bargain to keep the End Gun Violence initiative going.
Per the contract, council agreed to pay nearly $100,000 towards the program.
Savannah has used the tactics of the End Gun Violence program for about three years now, and at Thursday’s council meeting, police leaders pointed out its successes to justify re-upping the contract.
“I think when you review the statistical data, I believe successes that we are able to point to with the program, I believe we can show that the program is still very productive for the city and for the police department,” said Police Chief, Roy Minter.
Police department staff pointed out that between 2017 and 2018, the End Gun Violence initiative played a vital role in the 27 percent reduction in gang-related homicides, and the 37 percent decline in gang-related, non-fatal shootings. They added that continuation of the program is expected to continue assisting with that downward trend.
Not everyone on council was sold on the idea of continuing the contract with the county, keeping the director position with the DA’s office.
“I’m going to vote against this approval, based on the fact that it’s not housed under you,” said Alderman Tony Thomas, District 6. “I don’t believe we need to be sending our funds out of the department. I think that that was a mistake to begin with, but I understand how it came about.”
Ultimately, the majority of council voted to approve the contract.
The agreement ends and will be back up for consideration this December.