Chatham County leaders discuss safety procedures day after riot at U.S. Capitol

Chatham County leaders discuss safety procedures day after riot at U.S. Capitol

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A few Chatham County leaders addressed the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday while members of Congress were certifying the electoral college votes.

“As bad as it was in Washington D.C., in the end, the process worked,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said.

Mayor Johnson says the events at the Capitol were “surreal.”

“We are a nation of laws. We’re a nation of process and that obviously did not occur yesterday,” he said.

Mayor Johnson was one of the designated electors for the state whose vote was counted.

“We recognize that Georgia did the right thing. They carried out their duties appropriately and so the 16 electoral votes for Georgia should and did stand,” he said.

Mayor Johnson said it was concerning, initially, when there were objections to Georgia’s electoral votes. The objections ultimately died after outgoing Senator Kelly Loeffler retracted hers.

“We certainly are not going to tolerate insurrection in our city and we’re going to do what we can to make sure our citizens stay safe,” Mayor Johnson said.

Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester Ellis said while he watched the rioters in DC, he reached out to the Chatham Emergency Management Agency director to ensure poll workers in the county were protected. Chairman Ellis said they’ll be protected as long as election duties continue.

“My first concern when the news hit Chatham County was for those who were still working at the elections board and those who were at the Board of Registrars, wanted to make sure we had them covered and that they were safe,” Chairman Ellis said.

Chairman Ellis and Mayor Johnson say they hope people can learn to resolve differences in a positive way.

“I’m hoping that we will use this opportunity to help build bridges and take those concerns and really build strategic partnerships,” Mayor Johnson said.

“It’s a new year, we need to make sure there’s a new climate. That climate should not only exist in Chatham County but throughout the whole nation,” Chairman Ellis said.

Mayor Johnson says the city is prepared to handle any disruptions or situations if anything should happen.

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