Night Patrol: An eye-opening ride with the Savannah Police on a downtown Friday night; eye-opening, indeed.
Ten police officers in an unmarked van, numerous unmarked police cars, a helicopter, and a couple of drug-sniffing dogs swarming the streets of Savannah; net result: one arrest (and THAT because someone drove through a downtown lane).
Perhaps I am over-simplifying things just a tad, but anyone who has witnessed or experienced the lack of initiative that the local police force shows in doing its most basic job knows that I am close to the truth in my assessment.
The most galling example in the story was an officers pleading for back-up to an open and shut case of a drug deal in progress only to have the drug patrol diverted to a domestic call. Were they the only officers on duty that night? Probably.
Crime is rampant in this town; our police chief is a ghostly presence at best; patrols are consistently understaffed; elected officials are handcuffed by a do-nothing city manager; and a large segment of the local population has simply given up on involving the police.
The average officer on the street is non-responsive and more interested in plodding through his shift with the least amount of work than in reducing the crime level. The police force as a whole is only a reactive force against crime. This needs to change soon.
Citizens should demand a top-down reorganization of the police force. We need a new chief of police; one who will be a visible presence in the community and will work to train its officers with the skills needed to be a proactive force to reduce crime and earn the respect of the community.
Jim Morekis story merely illustrated what Savannahians have known for quite some time. One cannot help but wonder if the scum selling drugs on the street corners that night were not laughing themselves silly the next day. Or am I the only one?
POLICE HAVE A DOUBLE STANDARD
I wanted to point out that there is an obvious double standard with the police. As SPD spokesman Bucky Burnsed stated in Night Patrol Police dont have to always tell you the truth, but we as citizens under their inspection must.
It seems like a very Machiavellian way of working, and also not a very moralistic one. If anyone remembers, Machiavelli was a bad, bad man.
Makes me trust law enforcement that much more, especially after what happened in NYC at the Republican National Convention (Pier 57).
My next point brings me to Sgt. Gay saying, If were lucky itll be over 28 grams...we can charge him with intent to distribute.
The man is hoping for the offender to suffer even more than the time he will do, not to mention the wallop onto the pavement. Wonderful thinking.
Lets put this person with an addiction problem behind bars for even longer so as to keep with the ongoing trend of overcrowding the prisons with drug offenders (mostly for marijuana) who are sick and in need of non-institutional help, while letting murderers, rapists, pederasts and the like off much easier. Makes sense to me.
The last problem I wanted to point out is when Burnsed makes the comment that, Ordinarily we would ask the owner if we can search the car...if they say no, then we dont.
Ive been stopped more than once by police officers, in various states, for various reasons, mostly without the stops resulting in any form of ticket. My last return to Georgia from New York was no exception.
The Georgia State Patrol officer asked if he could search my vehicle. I said no. So the officer told me that if I didnt concede they would call the K-9 unit, and if the canine alerted them, they would be able to search. Being the wee hours of the morning and not wanting to wait the half hour for the other officers to arrive, I conceded.
But guess what, I had to wait for another officer to arrive anyway to supervise the first officer in his search of my vehicle. After an enjoyable pat down and twenty minutes of searching, the officers found... absolutely nothing.
The whole idea of asking to search and then giving up when not given permission seems a little too cut and dried for a real-life situation. Maybe the rules for the state patrol are drastically different than SCMPD.
Please do not print my name, I hear sometimes the police hold grudges.
SOME SERVICE TIPS
As the Savannah restaurant scene expands, it is high quality service that will put Savannah on the same level of surrounding cities like Atlanta, Charleston and Jacksonville. Savannah has some of the best food in the Southeast yet service is often forgotten.
Here are some simple rules:
Have a clean uniform on. Make sure your shirt is tucked in and wear a belt. Make sure your shoes are clean and match your belt.
Good personal hygiene is important. If youre a male, shave daily. If you have facial hair, keep it well groomed. Wear deodorant. Brush your teeth.
Know your product. Be able to answer guests questions about the cuisine you are serving. Know your wine list. Be able to suggest a wine with everything on the menu.
The little things count -- clean silverware, wine glasses, tabletop, chairs, napkins, salt & pepper shakers, vases.
After each course is served, check back with the guest after the first bite. That way, if there is a problem it can be corrected.
Always offer dessert. Remember if there is more than one guest, all desserts come with two spoons.
When presenting the check, remember check down, check back. When the guest is finished, he or she is ready to go.
Make sure that the manager and/or chef speaks to your table. This shows the guest you care about them.
Always thank the guest and ask them to come back.