INTERVIEW: Savannah police chief’s last week on the job before focusing on U.S. Marshals nomination

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2022 at 5:23 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s the last week on the job for the chief of police in Savannah.

The city announced late last month that Chief Roy Minter is stepping down. Minter is working to be confirmed as the next U.S. Marshall for the Southern District of Georgia.

Chief Minter said he believes he achieved goals he set for himself when he took on the role back in 2018. That includes heading up a fiscally and operationally efficient department, and building on existing community relationships, as well as creating new ones.

Chief Minter says combating crime continues to be a work in progress, as homicides in recent years have been trending up, while overall violent crime trends down.

Another major task for Minter during his time in Savannah has been focusing on internal department issues and improving morale.

Sean Evans: “What other initiatives, programs, have you gotten off the ground in your time here that will continue beyond your tenure with the department?”

“Well, I think the big ones are not just internal, but external. I think when you look internally seeing what we can do to enhance the level of communication within the organization with members of our department...we have five business improvement teams that we’re bringing on board to address anything from recruitment and retention, to communication, to health and wellness to technology,” Chief Minter responded.

A massive hurdle Chief Minter faced while heading up the department was the pandemic.

“I think it, unfortunately or fortunately, provided an opportunity for us to step back and take a look at how we were delivering certain levels of service within the organization. It provided us with the opportunity establish a remote report center where people could call in and officers could take reports remotely,” Chief Minter said.

And in the midst of the pandemic, police policy and procedure became the focus of a national and local conversation following the death of George Floyd.

Chief Minter talked about his participation in those discussions in Savannah.

“Well, it was very important for us to make sure that we were available to not just hear the issues or concerns for members of our community and those involved in those events, but also to be able to communicate with them,” Chief Minter said.

Minter now awaits a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing considering his nomination to the U.S. Marshal post in Georgia’s Southern District, which includes Savannah, and says he hasn’t been notified when that will be.

“I leave here with my head held up high, knowing that I had a very great, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead one of the greatest law enforcement agencies in this country,” Minter said.

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