Savannah, Georgia

Reducing Violent Crime by Targeting Offenders and Hot Spots

Savannah Police Badge

Site LE Agency
Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department

Site Researcher
Adam Bossler, Ph.D., Georgia Southern University, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Site Focus
Violent Offenders

SPI Strategy
Place-based policing, Offender-based policing

Site Cohort

Site Profile
Mid-sized urban area of 103.15 sq. miles with a population of 212,711

Project Overview

The Savannah SPI team used data to support decision-making within the department in an effort to reduce violent crime. A unique feature of the Savannah SPI was their “wrap-around services” approach to violent crime that was innovative, comprehensive, and included extensive police and community involvement. That approach built on community-based preventive strategies which focused on identifying potential and high-risk offenders, reaching out to offenders, and providing a central location where police, parole, and probation could work collaboratively to manage at-risk individuals and provide treatment services. Furthermore, the Savannah SPI had two main approaches for incorporating data into crime-reduction efforts: (1) targeting repeat offenders and employing supportive and investigative services, and (2) targeting violent geographic hot spots where chronic problems persisted.

Data Highlight

  • In 2008, repeat offenders were responsible for approximately 1,040 of the total 1,285 violent crimes in the Savannah-Chatham County area. 
  • The SPI focused the majority of crime reduction efforts on the Central Precinct, which experienced a statistically significant 16 percent decline in violent crime.