Savannah police push for public safety with 'Total Focus' crackdown

CITY NOTES: "Light the City Green," Shamrock 5K run just a pair of the many events kicking off St. Patrick's Day month in Savannah

The Savannah Police Department (SPD) last week conducted operation “Total Focus” with the goal of improving public safety and quality of life by removing dangerous criminals, drugs and stolen weapons from Savannah communities.

Conducted over the weekend of Feb. 23-24, Total Focus was a collaborative mission, aided by the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) and the Georgia Department of Community Supervision. It resulted in 20 arrests and the seizing of 10 stolen weapons.
This round of Total Focus (TF) was made public by the police department on social media channels when SPD accounts posted a brief video on Feb. 23 explaining the general goals for TF, an operation which has been successful when employed by the SPD in the past.

"We have certain areas where we have higher crime activity. What we do is, we simply put cops on the dots," said Hill, before the beginning of the operation on Friday evening.

"Those dots are where the crimes are occurring."
It wasn't the first "Total Focus" operation performed by SPD, and one can safely assume it won't be the last. Going back to at least 2013, the department has conducted TF operations routinely and often. Roughly every three months, a Total Focus Op is conducted and sometimes they will happen in consecutive months. TF operations were last conducted in November 2023 and in September before that.

More often than not, any seized items like guns, drugs, or wads of cash will be propped up for a photo to show the public and press. The most recent Total Focus was no different. (See photo below).
Savannah police push for public safety with 'Total Focus' crackdown (3)
Illegal items seized by officers in "Total Focus" conducted around Savannah on Feb. 23-24
On Nov. 17-18, 2023, Total Focus yielded 13 arrests, and, according to the SPD press release from Nov. 20, "seven arrests were for driving under the influence, five were felony arrests, and one misdemeanor arrest warrant was served." And the drug haul for that weekend added up to 142.2 grams of marijuana, 7.1 grams of methenamine and 5.6 grams of cocaine."
Six guns and two stolen vehicles were seized at that time. Earlier that year, in April of 2023, Total Focus operations jointly executed with Georgia State Patrol resulted in 48 arrests and eight guns seized.

The 26th annual March of Dimes Shamrock Run 5K launches Savannah's 2024 St. Patrick’s Day month this weekend.

The race takes place this Friday, March 1, in downtown Savannah. Road closures begin at 5:30pm on Friday while the Kids Race starts at 6:10pm and the 5K at 6:30 pm. Organizers anticipate the race ending at 8:30pm with impacted streets reopening by 10pm. The 5K race begins and ends in Ellis Square.

Runners will travel west on Bryan, turn south on Jefferson and then east on York, passing through Telfair Square and then to Wright Square. From there, runners will travel south down Bull St., around Forsyth Park and back north on Bull St. through Wright Square and then to Johnson Square before turning west to finish at Ellis Square.
March 1, 2024 in downtown Savannah
All proceeds from the race will benefit March of Dimes, a nonprofit that carries out a mission of programs, research, community services, education, and advocacy to improve the health of moms and babies.

Find out more information and register for the race by clicking this link.

The 200th Parade Committee will be at City Hall at 7pm on Friday to "flip the switch" on the city's 200th St. Patrick's Day Parade to be held in just over under three weeks time. At City Hall and several other locations across Savannah, the City of Savannah is going green for the month of March.
Savannah police push for public safety with 'Total Focus' crackdown (5)
City businesses, landmarks and others will change their outside lighting to green in honor of the Bicentennial Celebration. Join in on the celebration by changing your own lighting (residential or commercial) to green.

"Going Green" locations are:
Savannah City Hall
Forsyth Park Bandshell
Forsyth Park Fountain
Savannah Convention Center
Plant Riverside
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Planter’s Inn
Jepson Center
Levy Jewelers
Hyatt River Street Tunnel
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
SCAD buildings

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon is a reporter for Connect Savannah. He is a Savannah native and has been writing in Savannah since 2016. Reach him with feedback or story tips at 912-721-4358
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