The Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department has teamed up with the United Way of the Coastal Empire to spruce up the home of retired Savannah Police Lt. John White.
Ret. Lt. White is the last surviving member of the “Original Nine” black police officers who joined the force in 1947. White served on the department for 38 years. Prior to joining the police department White served with the Montfort Point Marines, the first black Marine unit that integrated with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Dozens of SCMPD officers and civilians volunteered their time over a 3 day period to clean and repair Lt. White’s home and install new flooring. Lt. White has lived in his home on Bouhan Street since he built it in 1960.
“This is an opportunity for us to give back to a man who has served our city and our country. Lt. White is a trailblazer, a policeman’s policeman and one of the nicest men you will ever meet. I am so proud of the officers who are volunteering their time to help one of our own,” said Chief Julie Tolbert.
Lt. John White was asked what does this help mean to him and he replied, “I cried when they told me they were coming in. I am so proud to be an American and a Savannahian. It’s overwhelming to see the support of what this commiunity is doing for me”. Ret. Lt. White will celebrate his 90th birthday next weekend.
The United Way’s HandsOn Savannah has provided all the materials, supplies and tools for the project. The mission of HandsOn Savannah is to build neighborhood spirit by uniting caring citizens to address critical needs and improve our community though volunteerism.
Gregg Schroeder, President/CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire said, “United Way is proud to partner with Savannah Chatham Metro Police to benefit someone who has put his life on the line to help our community.”
“The SCMPD has always supported the United Way’s annual campaign and this project is an example of how the United Way gives back to people in our community. This project would not be possible without their help and enthusiasm,” said Tolbert.