SAVANNAH — After a four-year tenure, Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter will step down from his role with the city to focus on the confirmation process for his nomination to serve as U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia.
“Team Savannah is proud of Chief Minter and proud of his nomination to serve at the federal level,” said Joseph A. Melder, City Manager. “We are grateful for his four years of service and his steadfast leadership of our police department. Chief Minter is the definition of a professional police chief, and I thank him for his tireless service to the City of Savannah, our residents, businesses, and visitors. I wish him well in the confirmation process and in all future endeavors, and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”
In recent months, Minter has faced scrutiny for a spate of officer-involved-shootings that led to an internal review of the department. Last month, Minter was accused by a former police sergeant of “personal bias” in the officer’s excessive force case.
This year, Savannah has had six officer-involved shootings.
Minter’s final day with the Savannah Police Department will be July 29.
“Since the exciting announcement of Chief Minter’s nomination as the United States Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia, the timeline for his transition from the Savannah Police Department has been considered and discussed,” said Mayor Van R. Johnson. “Chief Minter has been a consummate professional and his legacy will live in his historic promotions of women within our ranks and the technological and programmatic advances that will keep the Savannah Police Department the premier municipal law enforcement agency in Georgia. Our city will forever be grateful for his efforts during some of the most challenging times in our history.”
Melder has appointed Assistant Chief Lenny Gunther to serve as interim Police Chief effective July 30. Chief Gunther has served the Savannah Police Department since 2001. The City will undertake a process to hire a permanent Police Chief.
“Being Savannah’s police chief has been an honor and I look forward to the potential opportunity to continue my service to this community and all of southeast Georgia,” Minter said. “I am thankful for the experience these last four years. And while I am departing my role as police chief to focus on the confirmation process for my federal nomination, I remain thankful for the opportunities afforded to me by Team Savannah, the City Manager and our Mayor and City Council.”
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