News & Opinion NOV 13-19, 2013 | WWW.CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM
Blotter All cases from recent Savannah/ Chatham Police Dept. incident reports
Gun + Standoff A Savannah man was hospitalized after shooting himself before surrendering to police during a standoff over the weekend.
Steven Spann, 58, was listed in critical but stable condition at Memorial University Medical Center. Patrol Officers, SWAT team members and Crisis Intervention Team negotiators had surrounded his residence in a two-apartment house on the 700 block of East Gwinnett Street after being called by a relative who lives in the other apartment about 9 p.m. Police were advised he was in his apartment with a rifle. Negotiators “had convinced Spann to exit the house and surrender but heard a shot before he walked out and discovered he had shot himself,” a spokesman says.
• A participant in the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon died after collapsing in the race. 35-year-old Columbia, S.C. resident Jake Zeman “was near the finish line when he fell ill,” a police spokesman says. He was treated by EMS at the scene and transported to a hospital where he died. • After years of saying there is no significant gang activity in Chatham County, local police and the FBI are teaming together to fight gangs in the Savannah area. Metro Police Chief Julie Tolbert “has accepted the FBI’s invitation to assign officers to the Southeast Georgia Safe Streets Violent Crime Task Force to focus on violence by organized neighborhood groups and violent crime in general,” says a police spokesman. Members of the team are provided clearance and full access to FBI databases for information on crimes and criminals as well as federal resources. They also are deputized as federal agents with authority to act
nationwide. The Task Force targets gang violence, organized robbery activity, firearms violations, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles, human trafficking and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations. The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) and Pooler Police Department also have committed. Ten similar task forces already operate in Georgia. “This relationship will provide additional resources and information to address one of the most significant issues we face in Savannah, organized neighborhood groups,” said Tolbert. “These loosely organized groups too often lead to criminal activity that holds law-abiding members of the neighborhood hostage. We’ve seen multiple examples of this activity from drug sales to fights, shootings and homicides. Task forces such as this serve as force multipliers, and
we must use every resource available to address these issues.” The FBI initiated the Safe Streets Task Force program to enhance the relationship with area law enforcement
agencies. The Safe Streets Task Force “provides sophisticated investigative techniques normally associated with complex organized crime and racketeering investigations,” says the spokesman. At least 195 Safe Streets Gang and Violent Crime Task Forces have been formed in cities and regions across the U.S. The FBI provides overtime funds, permanently assigned vehicles and operational expenses. cs Give anonymous crime tips to Crimestoppers at 234-2020