Law & Order

Ways to Connect

A fatal police shooting in Kansas late last month focused attention again on how so-called swatting — prank 911 calls designed to get SWAT teams to deploy — puts lives at risk and burdens police departments.

There are more than 7,000 911 centers in the U.S. and, according to the National Emergency Number Association, they receive about 600,000 calls a day. Authorities don't track swatting calls nationally, though the FBI has been monitoring the practice of those types of fake calls for about a decade.

Emily Jones / GPB News

Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Jack Lumpkin said Thursday the department is poised to move forward as he leaves for Dekalb County.

He said violent crime rates have gone down during his three-year tenure, and that more citizens are working with police to solve crimes. He also touted the department's increased focus on intelligence-led policing.

Lumpkin's departure comes as the joint police department prepares to split, with separate forces set to serve the city of Savannah and unincorporated Chatham County beginning Feb. 1.

President Trump took office in January, vowing in a dark-toned inaugural to end what he described as "this American carnage" fueled by gangs, drugs and street violence.

America did see historic carnage in 2017, but critics say it had far less to do with gangs and drugs than with disturbed individuals with easy access to firearms.

Courtesy of Amy Soeldner

For the first time, Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to cases of animal cruelty. The position was created in October. And the first cop to fill the post is Senior Patrol Officer Amy Soelder. She’s a 22 year veteran of the force, and joins us in the studio.

The police response to the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016 followed protocol, but more training and better coordination are needed moving forward, according to a new 200-page review from the Justice Department and the Police Foundation.

Alfred Thomas, the Charlottesville, Va., police chief who faced an onslaught of national criticism over his department's handling of deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in August, announced his retirement Monday.

In a statement, Thomas wrote, "I will be forever grateful for having had the opportunity to protect and serve a community I love so dearly."

Emily Jones / GPB News

On February 1, Savannah and Chatham County will no longer share a police force. Local leaders voted earlier this year to end the merger, and create a separate Chatham County Police Department for the unincorporated areas. Jeff Hadley was sworn in as chief of that department last week.

A spokesman for Savannah Chief Jack Lumpkin deferred any questions on the demerger to elected officials.

"He's going to do well, and we'll be partners," Lumpkin told GPB at Hadley's swearing in.

Some interview highlights:


The Supreme Court is leaving in place a lower court ruling that a federal employment discrimination law doesn't protect a person against discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

The court on Monday declined to take up the question of whether a law that bars workplace discrimination "because" covers discrimination against someone because of their sexual orientation.

Why Would Someone Rob A Dollar Store?

Dec 7, 2017
Mike Mozart / Flickr/CC

If you noticed a lot of dollar store robberies over the summer, you were onto something. Here in Macon, there was a string of armed robberies at stores like Family Dollar and Dollar Tree. But why would somebody target a dollar store?

Diana Robinson / flickr

According to new FBI data released last month, there were more than 6,100 reported hate crimes in 2016, up by more than 270 from the year before. Georgia reported a drop in hate crimes during that period.