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SAVANNAH, GA (October 27, 2016): This afternoon City of Savannah’s City Council voted to approve a one year contract extension with the National Network of Safe Communities to continue the SCMPD’s End Gun Violence: Step Forward initiative to reduce gang/group related gun violence.

“I think the contract with the National Network of Safe Communities should be extended for another year because the concept and process works,” said Chief of Police Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 100 gang members have been arrested and convicted in Savannah and Chatham County due to the End Gun Violence initiative and other federal task force operations.

“End Gun Violence is not a program with a start and end date. This is a change in the mindset and the way we police. It takes time to change a culture and filter this down to each individual officer. This requires us to change our practice, customs and processes – it is not a turn-key,” Chief Lumpkin added. “During the past two years the SCMPD has been bolstering the number of officers and providing training and development for officers to focus on intelligence led policing, focusing in on the most violent criminals.”

National Network for Safe Communities has been helping other law enforcement agencies successfully use this model for more than 20 years in more than 60 cities across the country. They have access to a growing body of scholarly evidence, including systematic reviews and city-level studies which helps the SCMPD use the most promising approach to be effective in addressing serious group and gang gun violence.

Part one crimes in the SCMPD’s jurisdiction have been declining since May, 2016. As of October 23, 2016 the number of aggravated assaults with a firearm (shootings) combined with homicides are lower than in 2015.

“We are not lowering crime as fast I would like, or anyone of us would like, but we are making progress and moving in the right direction,” said Chief Lumpkin.

City Council voted unanimously to approve the contract renewal.

For more information on the End Gun Violence: Step Forward initiative visit http://savannahpd.org/endgunviolence/