SAVANNAH, GA (February 22, 2013): Officers from the Central Precinct of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department found themselves pursuing different culprits recently – tennis shoes.
Metro turned to Georgia Power Company line crews as partners when citizens attending neighborhood association meetings complained that tennis shoes hanging from power lines were creating negative images for their neighborhoods.
So Capt. DeVonn Adams, commander of the precinct, called on the utility to help solve the problem. In two days of work some 200 shoes were removed from power lines in the Tatumville area and in mid-town on LeGrande Street.
The project caught the attention of Mayor-Council when Adams mentioned it during a discussion in Thursday’s pre-meeting. It inspired comments of support from the city governing body.
“It was a quality of life issue that was bothering members of the public and it was important that it be addressed,” Adams said. “ It may not be a traditional police role, but Chief (Willie) Lovett has encouraged us to build relationships with the public in every way we can and we needed to respond.”
Historically, shoes hanging from power lines were indicative of drug sales in the area. Besides being unsightly, the stigma of drugs being sold in the area was unnerving to the neighbors.
Adams said the tennis shoe eradication program will continue as long as he can build partnerships with the utility companies who have the equipment and training to remove the shoes safely.