SAVANNAH, GA (December 10, 2019) – Today six Savannah Police units were recognized for their hard work and outstanding performance at the annual Unit Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Savannah Cultural Arts Center.
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.
“Bravery, honor, integrity and leadership: You will see and hear examples of that this morning,” said Chief Roy Minter. “These are just a few examples of the outstanding work the men and women of the Savannah Police Department continue to do on a daily basis. Last week was a difficult week for law enforcement as we saw two line-of-duty deaths across the country. This highlights both the challenging process of this profession but it also highlights how important the work that you do is and the work that you do in our communities.”
Each of the units received a plaque to hang in their work space, and all recipients received certificates.
Civil Action Response Team
Four current and former SPD officers were awarded for their actions in 2018 while being a part of the Civil Action Response Team (CART). Members of CART teach sessions that better prepare officers in the event of civil unrest or riot situations. The training often occurs in their off-time, illustrating the team’s motivation to excel and improve the safety and readiness of the department.
Twenty-two former and current officers and one civilian were awarded for their investigative work during 2018. During that year, the Homicide Unit had a clearance rate of 93 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 64 percent.
Eight current and former members of the Honor Guard were awarded for their performance between 2018 and 2019. During the time period, the Savannah Police Department suffered significant loss to the agency, losing two of its own to line of duty deaths and others to non-work related, but tragic events. The Honor Guard was called upon in all circumstances and approached the incidents with the utmost expertise and professionalism. Their dedication to attention brought honor to the department and comfort to those to whom they provided services.
Major Case Unit of CNT
Seven current and former officers were awarded for the investigation into the large scale drug distribution network, known as Sandfly, that was operating in Savannah in 2018. Starting in January, the unit began investigating the group, which was purchasing cocaine from cartel members in Houston and marijuana from California to be shipped back locally. The investigation resulted in 13 arrests and the seizure of 25 kilograms of cocaine, 40 lbs. of marijuana, 5 oz. of MDMA, 17 bottles of codeine, 21 firearms, multiple vehicles and nearly $465,000. The cocaine’s street value was $4 million. It was the largest cocaine and cash seizure in CNT history, directly impacting drug distribution in the Savannah area.
PAAL Summer Youth Camp Staff
Six officers and two civilians were awarded for their performance as part of the Police Athletics and Activities League’s Summer Youth Camp Staff. The camp staff donated their time to coach and mentor children involved in the camp and maintained contact with them after camp ended to ensure they had a positive influence in their lives.
Violent Crimes Task Force
Forty-six current and former officers and seven K-9s were awarded for their actions since the task force was reformed in November 2018. In its first full year, the task force resulted in the seizure of 251 guns, 478 felony arrests, 265 misdemeanor arrests, 1,555 traffic citations, more than $200,000 in currency, $1,800 in counterfeit currency, nearly 21,000 grams of marijuana, 29 grams of heroin, 330 grams of crack cocaine, 470 grams of powder cocaine, 103 grams of crystal meth, more than 6,600 Ecstasy pills, 180 Xanax pills and 6 grams of black tar heroin. The task force’s dedication to removing drugs and guns is directly impacting the safety of Savannah.