SAVANNAH, GA (September 23, 2015) –The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department has changed the name of its group violence reduction initiative from “Operation Ceasefire” to “End Gun Violence: Step Forward”.

The name change was made to eliminate confusion between this initiative and the federal “Project Ceasefire” program. Project Ceasefire was created in 1999 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Georgia. The purpose of Project Ceasefire is to federally prosecute felons in possession of a firearm; hard time for a long time.

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 not only a partnership with the community organizations, but also neighborhood associations, the City of Savannah, the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and others.

Chief of Police Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr. said, “We selected a name for this initiative that is simple and to the point. The only way we can reduce gun violence caused by groups and gangs in Savannah and Chatham County is by getting more members of this community to step forward: step forward and collaborate with the police, step forward and refuse to allow your family members to bring gun violence into your home, step forward and be a part of the solution. Our goal could not be clearer: end gun violence.”