Fighting poverty, finding new leadership for the police force, and providing job opportunities for Savannah's youth were the key themes of Mayor Edna Jackson's "State of the City" address Tuesday. Speaking in a nearly-full ballroom at Savannah's Civic Center, Jackson said the local economy is recovering. She touted expansions by several local businesses and the city's record-breaking tourism rate last year.
The city's former police chief is blasted in a third-party investigation into police operations. Willie Lovett resigned in September amid sexual harassment allegations. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into possible criminal violations.
The Savannah Police Department is starting its first-ever all-volunteer unit. The city's police chief told members of City Council on Thursday that reserve officers will have all the same training and certifications as regular officers. But they won't be paid.
Savannah-Chatham Metro police are taking the city's top investigative officer and putting him in charge of patrol. The leadership shake-up follows a crime spike that led to four murders in a two-week period. Other violent crimes also increased as temperatures climbed at the end of June.