SAVANNAH (Dec. 29, 2022) – Following a robust national search and comprehensive evaluation process, City Manager Joseph A. Melder is appointing Lenny Gunther as Savannah’s Police Chief. Chief Gunther had served as interim Police Chief since July 29, 2022. The comprehensive process of selecting a new chief included a public survey, focus groups, a practical knowledge evaluation and extensive panel interviews.
“We conducted a national search and considered a group of impressive police executives who all brought unique qualifications to the table, but one candidate stood out as the right chief at the right time for Savannah. Chief Gunther is a proven leader who is committed to installing proven policing strategies, technology, and practices to SPD,” said City Manager Melder. “Chief Gunther has already made meaningful adjustments at the Savannah Police Department that have increased morale, improved recruitment and retention, and most importantly advanced our ability to fight and prevent crime. Chief Gunther has also earned the trust of our community, which is critical to the success of any police chief. He embodies what it means to be a servant leader and brings a commonsense approach that couples well with his visionary embrace of the latest in technology and alternative intervention measures. I am proud to name him Savannah’s permanent Police Chief.”
Chief Gunther joined the Savannah Police Department as a patrol officer in 2001 and moved up through the ranks to his most recent position of assistant chief in 2019. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve for eight years. Gunther holds a Master of Arts in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
“Being selected as the City of Savannah’s Police Chief is the culmination of years of work in this community and I am extremely proud to lead the public servants of this department and serve the residents of Savannah as their Police Chief,” said Chief Lenny Gunther. “I have worked my way from the bottom of this department to the top job and I could not have done so without an amazing team of leaders along the way who chose to invest in me. Moving forward, the officers of our department should know that it is my job to develop the next generation of leaders and instill in them a passion for serving all Savannahians.”
Chief Gunther’s appointment is effective immediately. A public swearing-in ceremony will be announced in January.