New hotline gives Savannahians a way to report gun violence tips and concerns

Savannhians now have a hotline to call, 1-800-694-1981, to report tips and concerns about gun violence in their neighborhoods.

The hotline, set up by the South Carolina-based Racial Justice Network, is designed for people who are fearful of going directly to law enforcement to report gun violence and gun-related crimes, announced RJN president Candace Brewer and founder and CEO Elder James Johnson III at a community meeting on Thursday.

“What we want to do is be able to bridge the gap between community and law enforcement,” Brewer said.

Credit: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News

The hotline has existed in South Carolina four weeks ago and launched in Savannah on Thursday, according to Brewer, who spoke at a community meeting.

Brewer could not specify how many calls the hotline has received, but said it varied in volume and type, with some calling to see if the number actually worked or asking for resources with dealing with gun violence.

When residents call the number, Brewer said they’ll receive an automated greeting telling them if it is an emergency, they can contact Brewer or Johnson. The resident may also leave a message and someone will get back to them.

The RJN seeks to address police accountability as well as stem the rise in gun violence plaguing Savannah.

Thursday evening’s meeting came as the Savannah Police Department has been under public scrutiny for five police shootings since January and documented low morale in the department.

Raisa is a watchdog and investigative reporter for the Savannah Morning News. Contact her at rhabersham@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: New hotline gives Savannahians a way to report gun violence tips and concerns

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