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Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 11:57am

Savannah Police Chief Resigns

Savannah's police chief is stepping down after three-years on the job. Chief Michael Berkow announced his resignation today. Berkow says, he's accepted a job offer to be president of a new division of the global security firm Altegrity. He says, the position allows him to be closer to family in California.

"I was approached about a new career opportunity in April and I have thought about it...struggled with it... and truly agonized over what to do," he said. "In the end, I decided to accept this very unique and special position, working on issues that have been a personal passion of mine for years."

Berkow came to Savannah from the Los Angeles police department. Almost immediately after arriving, he was sued for sexual harrassment stemming from his position in Los Angeles. He was later removed as a defendant in that lawsuit.

Berkow sometimes rankled Savannah City Council members over issues such as police vacancies and communication, but he received generally favorable reviews from anti-crime groups. He is credited with improving the department's technology. Officers now file police reports on laptops in their cars.

His resignation isn't entirely a surprise. He was interviewed for the job of police commissioner in the Cayman Islands earlier this year. Berkow said at a press conference Tuesday that he'll remain in Savannah through mid-October.