Crime, Cops & Community

The four-part/two city/multi-platform series explores why Savannah, Georgia's first city, has one of the highest homicide rates in the state. In Macon, we explore the "clearance rate" and if it results in fewer crimes being committed in Bibb County. A Bibb County mother also shares her outlook on life and gun use. 

Gabrielle Ware / GPB

Symbols of peace will soon go up in an Eastside Savannah neighborhood, amid a recent spike in area homicides.

The Savannah Peace Initiative is a local version of an international effort to place “peace poles” in communities where violence has erupted.

Gabrielle Ware / GPB

For the first time in 16 years the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Dept. is now at full staff. Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin made the announcement Wednesday standing beside the  department's newest members.

The fully realized force comes as Savannah faces a murder rate nearly three times what it was last year, its worst year for homicides since 1991.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

    

 

The scene in the small courtroom inside the Bibb County Law Enforcement center was a familiar one.

 

On a day scheduled for first court appearance, there was one charge on the docket. A murder.

Crime Crackdown Gets Fugitives Off The Streets

Mar 24, 2016
Office of Public Affairs

 

More than 140 people are in custody after a multi-agency crackdown on violent crime in Savannah.

Savannah was among a dozen cities targeted.

The U.S. Marshals service along with Savannah police, and the Chatham County Sheriff's Office arrested 144 suspects including 14 wanted for murder.

 

Savannah was among the government's so-called 12 "focus cities." It had 53 murders last year, the highest since 1991.

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

When it comes to guns, Marciarea Torney-Daramanu is sure of one thing.

“With my kids now? When they get of age to own a gun I will make sure they are trained to use a gun,” she said.

She didn’t always feel this way. On a rainy day she shows me into her kitchen in her home in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Macon. She points to a magnet on her refrigerator.

“This is my son right here,” Marciarea said.

The photo is Stacy K. Johnson, Jr., Marciarea’s son. He’s holding his children.

“He’s the one that got killed right there,” she said.

Crime, Cops & Community: Residents Take Action

Mar 21, 2016
Gabrielle Ware / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Savannah has a lot to boast about. Georgia’s first city attracts millions of tourists each year.

But those who live in Savannah know it has a darker side. With 53 murders last year, the city saw its highest number of homicides since the early 1990s.

Crime, Cops & Community: Battling Public Distrust

Mar 20, 2016
Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department

Savannah has one of the highest murder rates in Georgia. And last year that number went up by nearly 70 percent. But a spike in crime doesn't happen overnight. City leaders blame years of corruption in the police department. They say it’s bred public distrust. Now they’re working to get it back.