Interim Savannah Police Chief Lenny Gunther discusses priorities and plans for his term

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s the interim Chief’s first week on the job, while the city manager gets the search for a permanent chief underway.

The Interim Chief expressed his gratitude for being placed in the role, and laid out his priorities and plans for the coming weeks and months however long the search takes.

“These plans include everything from recruiting and retention, crime reduction strategies, community partnerships, and relationships and workforce development.”

Gunther also says he plans to get out and talk to community groups, to gather feedback and listen to what the public’s expectations are for the department. And that’s an effort he’s already begun, speaking at a 3rd District town hall meeting Monday night.

Interim Chief Gunther also made the decision to call on the help of Georgia State Patrol to conduct a high visibility, two day operation city-wide, which netted 26 arrests four of which made by SPD officers were felony arrests.

The four felony arrests included charges of possession of methamphetamine, fleeing from police, and a felony probation warrant.

At Tuesday’s news conference, Mayor Johnson said SPD’s collaboration with GSP is nothing new.

“Georgia State Patrol has been engaged with us for quite some time. So this is nothing new in terms of the patrol issues, interdiction issues. Now, we’re engaging them in a little bit of a different way,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said.

That includes calling on the services of the GSP Crime Suppression Unit, which has committed to assisting SPD in similar operations in the near future.

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