SAVANNAH, GA (October 23, 2018) – Today four Savannah Police units were recognized for their hard work and their outstanding performance at the annual Unit Awards Ceremony held at Savannah Tech.
Each of the units was nominated by a member of the police department. The nominations were voted on by the department’s award review committee, which is comprised of officers and civilians from all areas of the department and representing all ranks. The awards are given final approval by the police chief.
Each of the units received a plaque to hang in their work space, and all recipients received certificates.
Four officers and two pilots comprise the Aviation Unit. They were awarded for their performance during 2017, during which time the unit responded to 175 requests for aviation support. These operations resulted in saving eight lives and assisting in locating many missing elderly persons and children. The unit also assisted in 36 arrests, many of which included violent felons who fled in vehicles. During 2017, the unit also assisted the Savannah Fire Department, making water drops to fires that couldn’t effectively be fought from the ground.
Four civilians comprised Criminal History. They were awarded for their performance in 2017. Over several months, the unit was audited several times, resulting in having to produce numerous record requests in addition to the nearly 3,000 criminal history checks performed monthly. At the same time, the unit was responsible for processing about 650 bar cards due to the new bar card law. It was especially challenging for the unit, which at the time had lost two employees and was training two new ones.
Special Victims Unit
Nine officers and three civilians comprised the Special Victims Unit during 2016. The unit was suffering a staff shortage but still finished the year off with an exceptional clearance rate of 50 percent compared to the national average of 36 percent. During that year, the unit investigated 50 cases of rape in addition to other caseload, including child molestations, elder and child abuse, runaways and missing persons.
Strategic Investigations Unit
Fourteen SIU officers were presented the Unit Award for their performance in the long-term investigation into illegal narcotics distribution, violence and gang activity in the Cuyler-Brownville neighborhood in 2017. SIU joined the ATF and GBI for the nine-month investigation that resulted in the federal indictment of 30 suspects, the seizure of 14 firearms and multiple illegal narcotics. The offenders were targeted based on intelligence that identified the targets as being directly involved in recent violent crimes and supply sources of illegal narcotics.