SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - UPDATE: Officials say an inmate who walked away from a work call on Friday has been recaptured.
Georgia Corrections tweeted the following Friday evening:
Law enforcement is looking for a Coastal Transitional Center resident who walked away during work call in Savannah.
Officials are looking for Dustin Hedden. He is described as a white male, 6’2," 160 lbs.
The Georgia Department of Corrections says he walked away around 7 p.m. Alderman Van Johnson tells WTOC he understands the need to have programs to transition people from incarceration back into society, but he says this isn’t the first time someone has walked off, and now, something needs to be done - sooner rather than later - to protect the safety of the people in surrounding neighborhoods.
'The reality is, is that these individuals are still under sentence. They’re still incarcerated or under the state’s supervision, to a degree," Alderman Johnson said.
Johnson says with residential neighborhoods so close to the center, he believes this incident poses safety concerns.
“I think it provides a public safety. We’ve talked with the state about relocating the center to an area that’s a little less populated. Right now, we’re looking for this guy, and we don’t know where he is. We don’t know what he’s capable of.”
Many people we spoke to in the Carver Village and Brickyard neighborhoods didn’t want to go on camera, but say this does raise a red flag, especially with kids in the area.
Alderman Johnson says he wants the state to look at security in the area.
“If that means more supervision, if that means more state officers here - doing what it takes to make sure that our residents remain safe.”
We’ve reached out to the Department of Corrections for a statement, but have not heard back. Residents in Carver Village say they are taking the necessary precautions to make sure they are safe, which includes keeping a close eye on kids playing outside.
If you see Hedden, officials ask that you do not approach him, but call 911.