SAVANNAH, GA (December 15, 2015) –The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department launched an “End Gun Violence: Step Forward” video today which highlights the effects that gang and group gun violence is having on the Savannah-Chatham County community.

The ten-minute video includes interviews with law enforcement leaders, community leaders, a mother whose son was murdered, and young people who have been impacted by shootings.

West Savannah Neighborhood Association President Ronald Williams was one of the people featured in the video. “This is a very powerful video and it’s what the community needs,” he said. “They need to see what’s going on in our city and how people feel. It really hits home as to why the violence has to stop.”

The video will air continuously on the City of Savannah and Chatham County government channels. It will also be on YouTube, and the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s website at http://savannahpd.org/EndGunViolence

The SCMPD produced this video so members of the community can understand exactly what the End Gun Violence approach is all about. “Not everyone reads the newspaper or watches the evening news and we hope this video will dispel any misconceptions about the End Gun Violence: Step Forward initiative,” said Major James Barnwell.

The Savannah-Chatham initiative to End Gun Violence: Step Forward is an approach that will target the most violent groups and gangs members who are responsible for a majority of the shootings and homicides in our community. This approach tells gang and group members to lay down their weapons. It also gives them the option to seek help from community organizations to receive counseling, job training, and other services to help turn their lives around.

End Gun Violence: Step Forward is a partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, community organizations, neighborhood associations, the City of Savannah, the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and others.

“The National Network for Safe Communities approach to reducing gun violence has worked in numerous communities across this country,” said Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr, Chief of Police. “Now it is time for our community members and stakeholders to Step Forward and take concrete actions to make this approach work in Savannah-Chatham. That must be done through individual and collective actions that research and experience demonstrates are effective toward reducing gun violence. Let’s take our streets and neighborhoods back.”

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