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Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 11:44am

Crime Spike Shakes Up Savannah Police

Updated: 3 years ago.
Savannah Police Chief Willie Lovett came into office in April 2010. His first summer as chief wasn't nearly as hot -- weather-wise or crime-wise. This year saw a spike in summer crime. (photo Davidson Scott)

Savannah-Chatham Metro police are shifting their resources following a summer crime spike.

The head of criminal investigations now is heading patrol units.

The spike occurred over a two-week period in June.

There were four murders and 250 F-B-I Part One crimes like robbery, rape and motor vehicle theft -- the most in two-years.

In response, Police Chief Willie Lovett reassigned four out of five precinct captains.

Now, spokesman Julian Miller says, the chief is moving the city's top investigator.

"There's a lot of experience in the investigation department," Miller says. "The patrol department has a lot of responsibility placed on it at this time and it needed a little bit more leadership."

Crime typically spikes in the summer heat when kids are out of school, more folks are outside and people become more aggressive.

But it usually doesn't lead to a leadership shake-up.

"We needed to have a more vigilant eye," Miller says. "And that falls on the shoulders of the patrol department."

Miller says, he expects more changes to come as the re-assigned leaders take a fresh look at the department's operations.

One of Lovett's first major acts when he became Savannah Police Chief last year was to give more authority to precinct captains.

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