SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah Police have had a busy week. Right now, they’re investigating four shootings in the last three days.
The deadliest one took place Tuesday night on Damascus Road, where four people were shot. Two of them died from their wounds.
On Wednesday, the head of the Savannah Police Department, Chief Roy Minter, spoke to members of the Savannah Downtown Business Association. With public safety being one of the Downtown Business Association’s advocacy issues for this year, it’s something the group definitely wanted to hear more about.
“It has been a very busy time for us, and here’s what I can tell you. We are very aggressive at making sure that we are addressing and following up on these matters,” Chief Minter said.
The chief didn’t downplay the severity of the recent gun violence around town.
“My mantra to people in the department is if bullet hits flesh, my phone needs to ring. It has been ringing a little too much lately, folks, really, to be honest with you,” Minter said.
The chief pointed out in his presentation that Savannah is not alone in battling gun and gang violence, referencing murder numbers in other cities around the state and country.
Chief Minter also added that gang recruitment is at an all-time high nationally. Recent re-configurations of SPD’s Violent Crimes Task Force is yielding results, creating a more proactive - than reactive - approach.
“I don’t want people to leave this room thinking that crime is out of control in Savannah, that the Savannah Police Department isn’t really doing anything about it other than going out and responding to these incidents and taking reports, and then waiting for the next one to occur,” Chief Minter said.
Even with the aggressive approach by police to keep following up on crime, Chief Minter emphasized they can’t “arrest away” the problem. That’s where the community component comes in.
“We want to make sure that people understand that you’re not going to disrespect our community, you’re not going to disrespect Savannah, that we’re going to stand up as a community and we’re going to stand together in unity and make sure we’re addressing issues and concerns that are having a significant impact on our community.”
Later this month, the police department, along with several community partners, will be hosting a Hope Walk in Yamacraw Village. It’s part of a new initiative called “Savannah Together.”
At these events - which will be hosted all over town - people will be connected with certain resources.
As we get more information about this new initiative, we’ll pass it along.