Savannah CARES Task Force to Host Resident Outreach Interviews

The Savannah Citizens Accountability and Review of Emergency Services (CARES) task force will host interactive meetings with residents to gather comments, concerns and feedback on contact and interactions between them and police.

“The committee is eager to meet with community members so that we, and the city, can better understand how our police department is perceived in the community,” said Diane Morrell McLeod, chair of the CARES task force. “We look forward to hosting members of the community and only ask that those wishing to speak provide first-hand information of any interactions with the police department.”

The task force will interview participants individually to maintain privacy and social distancing. Those interested must make an appointment by emailing savannahcares@ savannahga. gov or calling (912) 650- 7878.

Appointments are available:

• Jan. 12 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Liberty City Community Center, 1401 Mills B. Lane Blvd.

• Jan. 18 beginning at noon at the W.W. Law Community Center, 900 E. Bolton St.

• Jan. 26 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Southwest Chatham Library, 14097 Abercorn St.

• Feb. 2 beginning at noon at the Carver Village Community Center, 905 Collat Ave.

• Feb. 6 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.

The task force will not release the participants’ identities to the public and will only use them to help in its investigation. The intent is to have open and transparent discussions and then provide the responses to Mayor Johnson in a consolidated report.

The mayor created the CARES task force on July 7, 2020. The task force is charged with reviewing the police department’s use of force policies, internal affairs and investigative reports, obtaining community input concerning the use of force issues, and issuing a final report of findings and recommendations.

The task force recently released an interim report listing 12 specific recommendations after reviewing the use of force policies and began reviewing internal affairs reports.

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