A month before the dissolution of the combined Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Dept. he has led for the last three years, Chief Joseph "Jack" Lumpkin announced that he will be leaving the post to take a job as Director of Public Safety in DeKalb County, Ga.
His first day on the new job will be Jan. 28 — four days before SCMPD dissolves into two separate agencies.
"I am of the opinion forward thinking internal and external customers will attest that I left this agency much better than I found it," Lumpkin wrote in his resignation letter to the city.
"Given the police enhancements in the 2018 City of Savannah budget and continuity of leadership possessed by the two assistant chiefs, I am of the opinion the future is bright for the new Savannah Police Department," Lumpkin wrote.
"Within five years, the two current assistant chiefs will have completed the cultural change and disrupted the groups and gangs, which will result in every neighborhood being safer."
In a statement, Mayor Eddie DeLoach said, "Chief Lumpkin leaves Savannah in a much better place than when he arrived, including a double digit drop in part 1 crimes, a 9% drop in violent crime, and a 32% drop in homicides from 2017-2016."
"Chief Lumpkin leaves in place a department with two qualified Assistant Chiefs, and over 600 high quality officers. I have spoken with the City Manager and we will be conducting a nation-wide search to find the best candidate to be our next Chief," said the Mayor.
Lumpkin came to Savannah after having already retired as police chief of Athens/Clarke County, from whom he received full retirement pay while working here.
His resignation letter is dated today. The City sent out a copy of the resignation letter an hour after DeKalb County announced the news.