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Savannah Public Safety Study Task Force ReportJ. R. Roberts and the Savannah Public Safety Task Force Publish The Results of Their Year Long Study on the State of the Police Department.

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May 15, 2005
Savannah, Georgia Public Safety Task Force
__________________________________
Police Committee Report

The Problem
The most fundamental job of a city is to ensure the safety of its citizens. Currently, the City of Savannah is failing in this most fundamental responsibility. A 2004 poll (Citizen Satisfaction Survey, 2004) conducted for the City showed that over 40% of Savannah’s residents don’t feel safe in the city. In the same poll, the majority of residents overwhelmingly listed crime as the largest problem facing Savannah.

County and City residents’ fear is backed by the statistics. Savannah compares poorly with other cities, and the region. A snapshot:

Table 1: 2004 Murder Rates for Savannah and Selected Cities (per 100,000 residents)
Savannah*
Charleston
New York City
17.5
9.6
6.9

*Numbers for Savannah are pre-merger.

Task
Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson put together the Police Task Force Committee in May of 2004 as a part of the larger Savannah Public Safety Study Task Force. The Committee was asked “To evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the various systems [in our case the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, or SCMPD], and initiatives directed toward preventing and controlling crimes…” and “To develop and recommend programs to reduce crime.” This report is our attempt to do that.

The 12 Committee members were drawn from a cross-section of the community. No one in the Committee is a member of SCMPD or a law enforcement professional. We bring an outsider’s view of the police, formed by our observations, study and judgment.

The Committee’s Approach to the Task

The Police Task Force tackled its charge with a “the bottoms up” approach, learning about the police by accompanying them as they did their work. Members went on 13 ride-alongs with both patrol and crime suppression officers, usually staying with the officer for a full 8-hour shift. Members often stayed out until midnight or later, depending on the shift. This gave us a firsthand.18 Public Safety Task Force view of what was going on at the street level. Additionally, members had numerous meetings with officers from the Chief of Police through junior patrol officers.

To better understand what we observed, members reviewed and discussed numerous writings on policing. Much of the writing reviewed referred to police work done in New York City. This was for two reasons: First, Savannah uses the CompStat crime statistics evaluation system pioneered by NYC’s Police Department. Secondly, New York City has a well-researched and well-documented history of dramatically reducing crime from 1990 to the present. The Committee also spent two days with the Charleston Police Department. Charleston was chosen because of its proximity and similarity to Savannah in terms of culture, demographics and tourist industry.

Review of Data

The Challenge: Can the police make a real difference?

              There is a school of thought that says that the police can have little impact on crime; that crime is the result of large sociological forces that are beyond the scope of a single agency like the police.

Many in policing believe this as well:

The cops were a powerful group who could walk into community meetings and say, “It’s the criminal-justice system that doesn’t take this seriously, it’s the judges who let these squeegee guys go, it’s the society who created them in the first place. Don’t blame us.…” (Bratton, quoted in Knobler, Turnaround, p. 213)

A series of police commissioners in New York City, starting with William Bratton, have challenged this line of thought with dramatic results. When Bratton became Commissioner in 1993, “The NYPD had been content to focus on reacting to crime while accepting no responsibility for reducing, let alone preventing it” (Bratton, quoted in Knobler, Turnaround, p. xi).

Bratton, first as Chief of Transit Police in 1990, and then as Police Commissioner, and the commissioners that have followed him, refused to accept this notion. They believe that with the right tactics and strategies, the police can achieve dramatic results. The numbers support them. NYC has consistently reduced crime for 14 years. (See Table 2.)

Table 2: Homicides and Homicide Rates in New York City 1990-2004
1990
1995
2000
2004
Total Homicides
2,245
1177
673
566
Per 100,000
population.
30
16.1
8.7
6.9

A fundamental assumption of this report is that the SCMPD can have a significant impact on crime. We do not accept the “it’s society’s fault” explanation for crime in Savannah and Chatham County.

General Observations About the SCMPD

Organization and manpower:

On paper SCMPD is a decentralized police department, organized around a headquarters with six semiautonomous precinct stations. In addition, there are special divisions, such as Criminal Investigations, Counter Narcotics Team (CNT), Special Operations, and Savannah Impact (SIP). Under these divisions are specialized units such as Tactical Response and Prevention (TRAP), a gang unit, Traffic, a blight unit, Career Offender Tracking Unit (COTU) and the Narcotics Eradication Team (NET), just to name a few. (See the list on the 2005 City budget, page 139.) Some of the special units are based at headquarters; others have their own separate offices.

Headquarters holds weekly meetings, called CompStat meetings, where the Chief, the six heads of the precincts, and the heads of special units such as Homicide and Counter Narcotics all meet to go over the past week’s crime statistics. The CompStat process provides headquarters with a good view of what is happening in the county and how crime is trending.

Organization-wide, the Committee detected little urgency to reduce crime. We believe this is due in part to the expectations the city has placed on the SCMPD. Specifically, Savannah has set modest crime reduction goals of 5% for all crime categories for 2005. (See the 2005 City of Savannah budget, pages 143–147.)

The precincts are where patrol officers are based. Each precinct is further divided into beats, each in theory with its own patrol officer. (See Figure 5.)

Figure 5: SCMPD Precincts

In practice, due to short staffing, precinct officers spend the majority of their time reacting to crime by responding to Calls For Service (CFS) coming from the 911 dispatch system. As a result, “beats” cannot be kept manned and have little meaning. Due to their staffing levels, precincts are restricted in their ability to operate independently or to innovate. They do not have the time or manpower for significant crime prevention. The Committee’s evidence for this breakdown in the ability of the SCMPD to be proactive in crime fighting was found both through on-site visits and analysis of the department’s staffing levels.

Every turnout for a patrol shift attended by Committee members was short staffed, typically by a quarter to a third of the officers authorized. (Members attended turnouts in the Downtown, Central, West Chatham and Southside precincts.) Usually some of the officers going out on patrol were on overtime. Overtime duty translates to a patrol officer only being available for half of the shift, or four hours, leaving the second half of the shift further short staffed. This is the case because officers are limited to 12 hours of work a day, not including court time.

As an example; for the week of March 14th and April 13th patrol was short 56 and 63 officers
respectively. (See Table 3.)

Table 3: Precinct Staffing
for the Weeks of March 14th and April 13th, 2005 *
Week of 3/15/05
 
Week of 4/13/05
Precinct
Authorized
officers
Officers
Assigned
Shortage
 
Officers
Assigned
Shortage
1 West
Chatham
53
44
9
 
44
9
2. Downtown
59
49
10
 
45
14
3. Central
63
50
13
 
50
13
4. Southside
62
50
12
 
50
12
5. Islands
36
28
8
 
27
9
6. Skidaway
31
27
4
 
25
6
 
Totals
304
248
56
 
241
63

* Source: SCMPD. The Committee requested historical data but was informed that historical data is not kept.

It is SCMPD’s policy for the precincts to absorb all department vacancies. In other words, headquarters and special units are kept at full strength, while the patrol division experiences all department understaffing. The department’s explanation for this policy is that since patrol is where all rookie officers will be sent for training, the vacancies exist so that the precincts will have room for new incoming officers.


As a result of being short staffed, precinct officers:

• Spend their time trying to keep up with 911 calls; they must go where their radio sends them. As a result they have little to no time to patrol their “beat.”

• Have minimal time to interact with the public as they have little time between calls.

• Can leave a precinct “un-patrolled” if they receive as few as three overlapping calls that each require backup. (Six officers working calls can consume an entire precinct’s short shift.)

• Have little time to follow up on complaints, beyond responding to a call.

• Have little time to work on solving problems and preventing crime.

• Experience “burnout” due to the heavy reliance on overtime.

The staffing of the patrol divisions appears symptomatic of patrol’s place in the department. Despite patrol being the largest division, it is not viewed as a place of prestige or as a good position for advancement.

Due to SCMPD staffing levels, the precincts are restricted in their ability to operate independently or to develop innovative means of fighting or preventing crime. The SCMPD precinct officers do not have the time and the precincts themselves do not have the manpower to undertake significant crime prevention efforts.

Police/Community Divide:

Ask yourself, how much more effective the police could be if we received a lot more suspicious-person and suspicious-vehicle type calls that enable us to prevent crime, instead of spending our time riding calls to investigate crimes that have already occurred. How much more effective could we be if when a crime did occur, more witnesses were not afraid to step forward with information or call Crime Stoppers with viable tips? How much more effective could we be in deterring crime if the criminal element was truly afraid of the police and the law-abiding public banding together. (SCMPD Chief Dan Flynn, September 2004 Police Newsletter)

In this, both the police and Chatham County residents agree: there should be more police-community cooperation. Currently, there is little opportunity for officers to interact with citizens in a non-emergency setting. This “divide” is due in part to a strategy of trying to suppress crime via specialized units, while leaving precincts struggling to stay on top of calls for service. The result is little police-community interaction and communication.
“By definition, 911 systems are reactive rather than proactive.”

By definition, 911 systems are reactive rather than proactive, aimed at responding to a crime or emergency rather than preventing such an occurrence. By keeping officers at a distance from citizens, 911 systems deprive police from acquiring intimate knowledge of and contacts within a community that could be invaluable in crime prevention efforts. (Kelling and Coles, Fixing Broken Windows, p. 98)

Committee members saw minimal contact between patrol officers and the public outside of stops and responding to calls. With the precincts under-staffed and, as a result, primarily focused on responding to 911 Calls For Service, precinct or “local” officers have little time to interact in a non-emergency way. This creates an “us” versus “them” view of the police, or what Kelling and Bratton refer to as “stranger policing.”

There are three reasons why reliance on special units to fight crime furthers the community-police “divide.” First, special units, “foreign” officers, enter an area that they have little intimate knowledge of, conduct their operation and then leave. This practice does not encourage communication. Second, special units have staffing priority over patrol, keeping patrol overworked with little time to work with the community. Third, an unintended result of special operations is that they can reduce the effectiveness of patrol officers, devaluing them in the eyes of the community.

Specialized squads can even, in a perverse way, ultimately reduce a department's power to deal with the problems they were created to handle. In the short run, of course, there is a burst of energy as the department’s leading lights are brought together and allowed to focus exclusively on the new job. Less noticeable, however, the rest of the force often quietly gives up whatever part it had previously played. If it is an investigative problem, the patrol force lets the detectives do the work.…but if much of the department stops attending to major aspects of the ordinary police function, a great deal is lost. Only the specialized squads, which as the bloom of newness fades often become both overworked and inflexible, remain. (Sparrow, Moore, and Kennedy; Beyond 911, p. 116)

One Committee member witnessed an example of the problem that reliance on special units can cause. On a ride-along a Committee member passed a group that the patrol officer felt were dealing drugs. When asked what he does about that, the officer responded, “CNT [Counter Narcotics Team] deals with them.” CNT is a special unit that operates independently of the precincts. As a result, the community thinks the police are ineffective, because they see patrol officers driving past drug dealers, doing nothing. Consequently, community members see no reason to reach out and talk to their patrol officers about problems. This only furthers the “divide.”

Reacting as opposed to resolving problems:

The city, and as a result senior police leadership, do not encourage officers to solve the problems that encourage or facilitate crime. As a result, the SCMPD’s emphasis is on reacting to and containing crime.

An example of reacting to a problem rather than resolving it was experienced by several Committee members when they went on ride-alongs on Friday and Saturday evenings in the Downtown Precinct. Predictably, in front of several “problem” bars and clubs 3 at closing time, about 3:00 a.m., the police were confronted with near-riot conditions requiring large numbers of officers armed with canisters of pepper spray to control. This problem can affect the entire county as officers from outlying precincts get called in to support Downtown precinct officers, leaving their precincts under- or un-patrolled. These conditions occur regularly on early Saturday and Sunday mornings. 3 It should be noted that most bars and clubs downtown present no problems for the SCMPD.

Officers have devised valiant and innovative strategies to manage the problem. These include bringing in the military police to handle disorderly soldiers, changing traffic patterns and using sirens to disperse unruly crowds. However, SCMPD officers feel there is little they can do to actually get the few problem establishments to change their ways. They do not believe they are empowered to solve the problem, just manage it.

By way of contrast, officers in Charleston know that their job is to resolve such problems. First, they work with a “problem bar” to help it change its practices, and failing that, officers have a process to petition to have the establishment closed. They understand that the city and their leadership expect this from them, and that a process exists to address such “problem establishments.”

The Police Committee saw little evidence of such leadership and support from the city to eliminate conditions and solve problems that contribute to crime. If the conditions that encourage crime are permitted to persist, then crime too will persist.

Recommendations

The Committee’s recommendations are organized into four categories: the community’s crime reduction goals, police operations, city and county support of the police and citizen involvement.

Community’s Crime Reduction Goals

1. City, County and Police set aggressive crime reduction goals.

No organization, whether it’s a police department or a private business, is going to achieve high performance results in an atmosphere of … low expectations. (Commissioner Bratton, in Measuring What Matters, p. 1)

The Police, city and county must come together and agree on aggressive crime reduction goals. The 5% crime reduction goals for 2005 are insufficient. We suggest an absolute minimum goal for crime reduction of 10%. This will require that the SCMPD, county and city become a results-driven and problem-solving team. SCMPD is the lead agency in combating and preventing crime, but they must have vigorous support to be effective.

The machinery to communicate, monitor and pursue crime-reduction goals currently exists in the weekly police CompStat meetings. Supporting city and county agencies should attend so that they can better coordinate their support of the police. (See “City of Savannah Recommendations” below). Together, the city and police can monitor their crime reduction progress.

When the Committee spent time in Charleston, Police Chief Greenburg continually repeated the theme that expectations for public safety are high in Charleston. No matter who is the Chief in Charleston, he was certain the city would demand performance. Committing to aggressive crime reduction goals is the Committee’s most fundamental recommendation.

Police Department Recommendations

In general, the police must become focused on crime prevention and problem solving. This is the best long-term response to calls for service: eliminate their causes. Our recommendations for the police revolve around two main ideas:

• Push resources down to those closest to problems—the precincts—and hold them strictly accountable.

• Re-emphasize the basics; re-emphasize patrol.

Resources:

From our observations the SCMPD has been allocated sufficient men and money. (The SCMPD has about 600 officers and a budget for 2005 of 46 million dollars.) This observation is supported by comparisons with other similar departments. Our suggestions do not include expanding the budget or increasing the number of authorized officers. Rather, our focus is on ways to more effectively deploy the currently allocated resources and make sure the department deploys all the officers it has already been allocated.

Organization:

Much of headquarters and special unit policing personnel should be moved to the precincts. Headquarters should concentrate on evaluating the effectiveness of the precincts, supporting their efforts and ensuring they have the personnel, resources, tactics and leadership to reduce crime. This will make “ownership” of crime clear: responsibility will be on the precinct.

Headquarters already has the tools to do this in the CompStat data and weekly meetings. CompStat was first created and used in New York City by Commissioner Bratton. It was fundamental to their success in reducing crime.

We created a system [CompStat] in which the police commissioner, with his executive core, first empowers and then interrogates the precinct commander, forcing him or her to come up with a plan to attack crime. But it should not stop there. At the next level down, it should be the precinct commander, taking the same role as the commissioner, empowering and interrogating the platoon commander. Then, at the third level, the platoon commander should be asking his sergeants, “What are we doing to deploy on the tour to address these conditions?” And finally you have the sergeant at roll call…all the way down until everyone in the entire organization is empowered and motivated, active and assessed and successful. (Bratton, quoted in Knobler, Turnaround, p. 239)

Headquarters needs to increase its focus on using CompStat to drive down crime and transmit a sense of urgency throughout SCMPD. With CompStat, SCMPD can determine what is working, what is not, and adjust resources and tactics accordingly.

2. Implement organization-wide reforms to enhance police effectiveness, including the following:

• All supervisors should “lead from the street,” where they can best assess their officers’ effectiveness and understand the problems facing them and their neighborhoods. This will have the further effect of increasing police visibility. In Charleston, the Chief of Police expects that all supervisors make arrests.

• Currently there is no requirement for SCMPD officers to have a college degree. The department should encourage advanced degrees, by having pay bonuses, for BAs, MAs, and PhDs. Many other police departments believe that those with higher education make better officers, and the departments offer bonuses to recruit them. SCMPD currently loses officers with advanced degrees to departments willing to pay for degrees. SCMPD needs to retain these officers.

• Patrol officers should be paid their normal wage to attend court proceedings. Currently, officers receive $30.00 for attendance and are awarded “comp time” (which often is hard to use) for time in court. The implication is that somehow court time is a lesser form of police work. The county cannot expect officers to be aggressive in pursuing criminals if they are not paid normally while assisting in the prosecution of those they have arrested.

• The policy of permitting uniformed officers to moonlight in bars should be reviewed. There is a large potential for conflict if officers are being paid by an organization that they potentially will have to cite or testify against.

• Requirements for promotion need to be clearer. Numerous officers were asked by Committee members what the department was looking for in making promotions. Beyond citing the process (tests and interviews), they consistently claimed to have no idea what the department expected from officers going up for promotions. A clear promotion policy that encourages and rewards crime prevention is critical to motivating the department.

• Investigate implementing 10-hour shifts. Currently the department uses three 8-hour shifts a day. The result is that when one patrol shift returns to the precinct and the following shift is preparing to go out, the precinct can be under-patrolled or un-patrolled. With 10-hour shifts, there can be significant overlap when one shift goes out prior to the ending shift returning to the precinct. The Committee has found examples of police patrols operating with 10-hour shifts deployed so that there is a long overlap, say from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., when things are busiest. This permits a two-hour “double patrol” when things are busy and gives the retiring shift two hours to work without answering CFS, so that they can spend more time interacting with those in their patrol area.

• All officers should be have business cards and give them out every time they interact with the public. Giving out a card does two things: it tells the community that the officer cares about their input, and secondly, it shows that the officer is proud of his work and wants the citizens to know who they spoke to. This relatively simple outreach gesture will help promote better police-community communication.

• To the extent that the department feels it is short staffed it should consider the creation of a reserve officer program.

3. Move resources to the precincts to promote clear “ownership” of crime:

Captains must be held strictly accountable for crime in their precinct and achieving tough crime reduction goals. In return, they must be given the resources to do this. More officers and resources should be pushed down to the precinct captains as follows:

• The precincts, including patrol, must always be fully staffed. Patrol is both the “front line” in crime prevention and the part of the police most visible to the public. It must always.26 Public Safety Task Force operate at full strength. Being fully staffed will also significantly reduce patrol’s reliance on overtime, resulting in fully covered shifts and officers with a higher energy level. A fully staffed patrol will allow officers to both answer calls and communicate with citizens in their beat.

• Special Unit personnel, such as CNT and Traffic, should be moved to the precincts. Coordinated operations can have a big impact, especially when backed up with the beat patrol officers. With the extra personnel, precincts can tailor operations for their community’s problems. This will permit precincts to more quickly respond to budding crime trends. It will also further better special unit–patrol coordination.

• Detectives who investigate minor crimes should be assigned to the precincts. There is great frustration for Chatham county citizens that “nothing is being done” in response to things such as property crimes. Charleston places detectives in their precincts, with great results. Having detectives at the precinct level will permit greater citizen contact and follow-up. It will also permit greater coordination between patrol officers and investigators.

• Captains should have significant input into promotions of those under their command. They work with, and know the most about, their officers. They should be in a position to promote their most talented officers.

4. Re-emphasize the basics: “Every officer a patrol officer.”

“Every Marine a Rifleman” is a notion adopted by the U.S. Marines to keep the entire organization focused on its basic mission. We suggest that the SCMPD adopt a similar view—“Every officer a Patrol officer”—to underline the notion that patrol is the essence of SCMPD and that all positions, in the end, are there to support patrol in their work to prevent crime.

Patrol officers are the most visible part of the SCMPD and the ones who, in theory, interact the most with county residents. They need to be among the best officers. This will only be the case if patrol is treated as a place of prestige and a venue for promotion. It should be department policy that good performance in patrol is critical for promotion and that promoted officers are encouraged to remain in patrol at their higher rank and pay.

All precincts should be strongly encouraged to deploy some of their officers in ways that permit them to intimately know their community and the problems facing it. This could be via foot patrol in the entertainment district, bike patrol downtown and in other densely populated areas, and “walk and talk” cruiser-based officers in areas like the Southside. The critical requirement would be that officers remain in an area long enough to gain residents’ and businesses’ trust and are sufficiently free from answering service calls that they spend most of their time interacting with residents, understanding their problems and solving them.

One of the major changes critical to NYC’s success was focusing on “quality of life” and “disorder” problems: problems such as graffiti, squeeze men, public intoxication and panhandling. Savannah and the County have a large role to play in supporting the SCMPD efforts to address “quality of life” issues. The police, via patrol officers, should become the “lead agency” in dispatching city services to combat blight and disorder. Officers are everywhere at all times in the county. They know where out-of-service streetlights, overgrown lots and abandoned buildings are contributing to crime. The city and county should take advantage of this knowledge.

Patrol officers must have the information, contact numbers, training and authority to deploy city services to counter blight and disorder. This will both make patrol officers more effective and give them ways to interact in a non-emergency setting with the community.

5. Better technology.

SCMPD should have the technology to better prepare and access reports, facilitate communications within the department, and permit officers to run tag, warrant and parole checks on their own.

Laptop Computers: Committee members witnessed officers waiting for access to desktop computers to complete reports after their shift. In response, many officers have purchased their own laptop computers and cobbled together software to prepare and print crime reports. Additionally, many reports are still written by hand. Reports, no matter how generated, are then scanned into the
department’s computer by a large data entry staff. This is inefficient on a number of levels.

The Committee recommends that the department provide WiFi-enabled laptops for every officer. Each precinct should be WiFi enabled. The computer should be assigned to the officer. This will
permit:

• Much faster report turnaround times, as supervisors will be able to receive electronic reports for review, make comments and return them electronically. Officers will then be able to make clarifications or corrections electronically.

• Greater data availability. Reports will be able to be sent electronically to headquarters without requiring that they be scanned by data entry personnel.

• More useful data. The information will be more useful because electronic data can be searched more comprehensively than scanned data. Also, legibility problems from handwritten reports will be eliminated.

• Better dissemination of information. Patrol officers can take e-mailed photos and other information on fugitives with them on patrol.

It is anticipated that this technology upgrade will be self-financing. The cost of the laptops will be offset by the reduction in data entry personnel.

Handheld communication device: Currently officers have to radio in requests to run tag checks for warrants or parole violations. On busy nights it can take an officer 15 to 20 minutes to receive a response. This is problematic for two reasons. First, the time spent waiting for a response is time that could be used patrolling. Second, officers would perform many more tag and warrant checks if
they could get results quickly.

A handheld device such as a Palm Pilot or Blackberry for every patrol car or person on foot or bike patrol that can access the relevant databases for checks is recommended. This is the one Committee recommendation that may require additional funding. However, it will make the police more effective. (There may also be grants available to the department to purchase such technology.)

City of Savannah Recommendations

6. Improve city and county services support for police.


…any police agency’s success in fulfilling its basic mission and in conducting its business depends greatly upon the kind of commitment, support, interest and coordination provided by its political leadership. (Bratton and Henry, The Compstat Paradigm, p. 9)

The city must commit itself to backing the police with city service personnel in departments such as Property Maintenance, Traffic Engineering, Streets Maintenance, Revenue, Fire, and Alcohol Beverage Control. These agencies must be committed to working with police to solve problems by removing their source. This support must include having personnel available after business hours if that is when the problem confronting the SCMPD occurs.

To coordinate the combined city services-police services effort, city service representatives should attend the SCMPD’s weekly CompStat meetings and be prepared to discuss their support of police requests.

7. Pass ordinances needed to improve public safety

The City should work with the police to craft legislative solutions to some of the persistent causes of disorder and crime. We suggest the city consider passing ordinances to do the following:

• No teen clubs should remain open past the teen curfew. On the weekends there were “teenclubs” that stayed open until 3:00 a.m., well past the 12:00 a.m. weekend curfew. This sendsthe wrong message to minors.

• No underage persons should be allowed in bars. Currently those 18 to 20 are allowed inbars, but not permitted to drink. This does not work and needs to be changed.

• “To-go” cups should not be permitted. From our observations, to-go cups both cost bars revenue and contribute to unruly behavior. Revenue is lost when patrons bring their own liquor to drink outside or to augment their to-go cups. To-go cups also encourage public intoxication, which leads to problems such as fights, muggings, public urination, vandalism and car break-ins. If Savannah and Chatham County are serious about protecting their citizens, they need to foster an atmosphere conducive to safety.

• There should be a clear and formal process to review liquor licenses in response to police and/or community complaints. There must be a board or similar body that is empowered to hear complaints and recommend that a liquor license be terminated in cases where there are repeated patterns of public disturbance in and around the license holder’s establishment.

8. Provide for a mechanism to review progress.

It is the Police Committee’s desire that this report will help make the SCMPD a more effective organization. This will not happen if this reports is read, discussed and then filed away to accompany the previous reports by similar groups.

The City of Savannah needs to appoint a group to return to review the progress made by the City and the SCMPD in their efforts to reduce crime and assure the citizens that they live in a safe community. The Committee suggests that such a review be conducted in 6 months, a year, and 2 years to report on the progress made, or not made, in reducing crime.

Citizen Recommendations

9. Become involved.

All of Savannah and Chatham County must be safe for all residents to live and work. This will only happen if the citizens demand and support the changes needed to make it so. To the extent that citizens believe that the suggestions in this report have merit, the Committee urges all citizens to let city and county public officials know that. In the end, the community will get the level of policing it demands.

References


Bratton, William J., and Henry, Vincent. The Compstat Paradigm: Management Accountability in Policing, Business and the Public Sector. New York: Looseleaf Law Publications, 2002.

Kelling, George, and Coles, Catherine. Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities. New York: The Free Press, 1996.

Knobler, Peter. The Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic. New York: Random House, 1998.

Measuring What Matters: Proceedings from the Policing Research Institute Meetings (1-64). Research Report. National Institute of Justice, July 1999.

Sparrow, Malcolm K., Moore, Mark H., and Kennedy, David M. Beyond 911: A new era for policing. New York: Basic Books, 1990.

 

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