Savannah Police seeing fewer homicides, assaults this year

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 4:28 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - We are almost halfway through 2023, and according to the Savannah Police Department, they’re seeing some crime go down.

Specifically, homicides. The homicides in the City of Savannah have dropped almost 90 percent compared to this time last year.

To be more specific, around this time last year there had been 11 homicides in Savannah. And this year, we’ve only had one.

Assistant Police Chief DeVonn Adams says one is still too many, but the drastic drop shows things are moving in the right direction.

“It’s not just one thing, it’s a combination of things that we’re doing to contribute that,” Assistant Chief Adams said.

Assistant Chief Adams cited things like partnerships with Georgia State Patrol and federal agencies as a contributing factor to the overall drop in homicides, as well as the use of technologies like flock cameras and ShotSpotter.

A big area of focus has also been zeroing in on historically high-crime areas.

“We know that it’s maybe 10 percent of the people that are responsible for 60 or 70 percent of the crime, so when we’re going into our neighborhoods, we’re using all the intel that we have to go after specific, prolific offenders.”

It’s not just homicides that are down in the City of Savannah, either. There have been eight fewer aggravated assaults involving a gun this year, than the same time last year. Last year at this same time, there were 133 aggravated assaults involving a gun. This year, that number has dropped to 125.

However, that number is still up 26 percent from 2021.

Adams says that SPD is striving to meet gun violence in the city with a very direct approach.

So far this year, he says they’ve taken 51 illegal guns off the streets but are still seeing a problem with minors carrying guns.

That’s where community engagement comes in. Another element, Adams says, that’s important to keeping the city safe.

“Impactful and long-lasting relationships. Not just coming to a community when something bad happens, but being there on the front end, so that again, we know life is life and when things happen, that we built that relationship that we can all come together and heal together.”

Assistant Chief Adams said that overall, he does believe that crime in Savannah is trending in the right direction.

Locals see difference in crime

Residents WTOC spoke with said they do try to keep tabs on crime rates, especially in the areas they live in.

Though they said it wouldn’t necessarily change their habits, like what places they go and when, it is good to hear those numbers.

“Crime was a problem. Even if it wasn’t murders, or break ins, or basic assaults, just knowing that people have other things to do, they’re preoccupied, it’s a sense of relief. You feel more comfortable knowing there’s less things happening,” said Travon Elleby who has lived in Savannah his whole life.

“I don’t know that I would change any of my behaviors knowing that stat. I mean, I’m not walking around at night by myself. Still on alert. But it’s a good stat to know, interesting to digest,” said Jessica Collins who has lived in Savannah for a year.

Total violent crime is down 13 percent overall from the same time last year, while property crime is down two percent.

You can view all of the data below: