SAVANNAH, GA (March 21, 2023) – Savannah Police Department wrapped up its two-day St. Patrick’s operations with 12 arrests in the event zone.
“This year, SPD saw the lowest number of arrests the department has seen in years,” Chief Lenny Gunther said. “The St. Patrick’s events were a success, with families, visitors, and locals gathering in our downtown to enjoy all the things Savannah has to offer during one of the country’s largest St. Patrick’s celebrations. The low arrest totals from this year can be attributed to the more family friendly changes the City of Savannah has made to the annual event, the hard work and long hours worked by Savannah Police Department officers, the support from public safety partners and City of Savannah staff, and the collaboration with local businesses and community organizations.”
In comparison, there were 17 arrests in 2022, 33 in 2019, 20 in 2018 and 54 in 2017. (These totals do not include arrests made by SPD’s Traffic Unit or Georgia State Patrol.)
Prior to the start of the parade on March 17, tow trucks removed 58 vehicles from the parade route, which was slightly higher than 2022’s total of 42 tows.
There were no arrests made by SPD or any other visiting law enforcement during the parade.
Of the 12 arrests made in the event zone over the two-day period, six were drug-related charges that were a result of undercover operations by SPD’s Strategic Investigation Unit.
On March 17, undercover officers conducted an operation that resulted in the arrest of four men and the seizure of 3.9 grams of cocaine, 104.8 grams of marijuana and a stolen handgun.
On March 18, undercover officers conducted a similar operation that resulted in the arrest of two men and the seizure of 36.5 grams of cocaine, 1.4 grams of Ecstasy (MDMA) and 31 grams of psilocybin (mushrooms).
In addition, GSP and SPD officers conducted traffic enforcement outside of the event zone on both days. GSP made 48 DUI arrests, and SPD officers made four DUI arrests.
The Alcohol Beverage Compliance (ABC) Unit conducted checks and undercover operations at 44 businesses from March 17-18. Of those, 12 failed the operation. The managers or licensees were notified of the alcohol sold, that the buyer was underage, if the offender checked for ID, how the alcohol was served/sold/given to the buyer, and the actions taken by law enforcement after identifying the violation. Businesses that passed will receive a congratulatory letter.