SAVANNAH, GA (August 3, 2015) –Members of the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) are in Savannah today and tomorrow collecting critical information for the implementation of Operation Ceasefire.
Three advisors from the National Network are meeting with approximately 30 law enforcement officers and members of the criminal justice community from the Savannah and Chatham County jurisdictions. The following agencies were present today: SCMPD, SCCPSS Campus Police, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Garden City Police, Pooler Police, Chatham County District Attorney’s Office, Chatham County Juvenile Court, ATF, FBI, Savannah Impact Program, and probation and parole officers. Every municipality and law enforcement partner throughout Chatham County was invited to participate.
The NNSC advisors are meeting with key street-level officers and participants in a closed–door setting to allow for open dialog and to protect the officers who are divulging the information on these criminals.
This is the first time we have had everyone at the same table to talk about what the problem is, how to address it and attack the violence,” said Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap.
The goal of the two-day “group audit” is to identify the most prolific and violent offenders linked to gun violence; this includes individuals, gangs and member of larger groups who victimize citizens. The NNSC researchers will also pull data from all homicides and shootings that have occurred in the past two to five years.
“If you take all of the violent crime in the community, about 85% of that crime is being committed by .05% of population,” said U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver. “This effort will allow us to take a more targeted approach and give the individuals who are committing these crimes the attention necessary to make sure violent crime deceases.”
Chief Joseph “Jack” H. Lumpkin, Sr. said he hopes to have the results from today’s group audit and data collection this fall so officers can start targeting the small percentage of individuals who are committing a vast majority of the gun violence. That will include building more community partnerships and asking the families and other influencers to encourage the potential offenders to end this senseless cycle of violence.
Heap said, “From my point of view in the DA’s office, you have an option, you turn your life around, put the gun down and walk away or we are coming after you. I will use the force of my office to make sure I can take you off the street where you are not harming any other individual.”
Chief Lumpkin added, “People won’t change without consequences. Why are we offering opportunities for people to change their lives, because we don’t want victimization. In order to prosecute someone we have to have a victim – no one wants to be a victim. If we can stop people from being shot then we have helped this community.”
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson is encouraging neighborhoods, youth groups, faith-based organizations, and the business community to get involved in Operation Ceasefire
“Ceasefire is something that in necessary in our community and we need the community to be involved and work with us,” the Mayor said. “Any shootings in this community affect us totally, whether you live downtown, south side, west side or east side and we have to work together.”