SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Violent crime numbers continue to plunge in the city of Savannah. Mayor Eddie DeLoach credited this stark decrease at the end of 2017 to former Chief of Police, Jack Lumpkin.
Alderman Van Johnson insisted his policies were the reason we had a safer city, and he was doubtful the next hire would be able to fill his shoes.
"The culture changes, and sometimes some of the old cultures try to revert back to what they used to do, so obviously for that reason alone, the chief's departure is a concern to me," Johnson said in December of last year.
With a police demerger and change in command, the city has, in fact, continued to cut back on crime when we look at the first few months of this year.
In homicides alone, the city has reduced the rate 29 percent, dropping from seven homicides at this point last year to only five homicides to date this year.
The most recent homicide was Sunday night on Hurst Avenue. According to police, a disagreement between 26-year-old Joshua DeMuro and 33-year-old Kevin Gilman escalated when DeMuro allegedly shot Gilman. Gilman was pronounced dead at the scene. At this time, DeMuro has been charged with murder. The investigation is still ongoing.
Although this was the fifth homicide this year, rates are still down.
In a statement on Monday, Savannah Police said:
'The Savannah Police Department is continuing its laser focus on violent crimes in our city. We continue to encourage the public to get involved in the safety of their communities and to alert police of any unusual activities. If you see something, say something.'
Other violent crime decreases include commercial robbery, which dropped 66.7 percent with 24 reported to date last year, and only eight reported to date this year. Aggravated assaults with a gun also cut almost in half, with 50 reported to date last year and only 27 reported to date this year.
Now keep in mind, with the police demerger, these new numbers are solely for the city. They do not account for the county residents who once fell under the protection of Metro Police. However, it's also important to keep in mind that the overwhelming number of violent crimes in Chatham County have taken place in the Savannah city limits.
Chatham County police do not have a report of a homicide so far this year.