SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – Five weeks after a fatal shooting at the Jennifer Ross football complex in Savannah, some security changes at the park are already noticeable and more updates are underway.
“Weapons Forbidden” signs have been installed since the shooting and, although the lighting is not yet updated, contractors are already there to consider adding lights to the parking lot and other walkways in the park, and some Updates to security cameras are in the works.
New guidelines have also been put in place for the police. Chatham County Police have been given a schedule and there are additional officers at every game and practice. It’s not just about officers sitting in their cars, but walking around and interacting with players, parents and other spectators.
New rules in the aftermath of the shooting require one officer per playing area, which means two officers for the Jennifer Ross Complex. And every time the land is leased, there needs to be a security guard on site.
Football coach C says these changes are necessary not only to keep children safe, but also to allow them to continue playing on the pitch.
“We want to let them know that we are not just there for sports, we are using sports as a vehicle to bring children in. Once we get them in they open up to us coaches and they tell us a lot of things, so we want to use this vehicle to bring in these kids and we can help them with some of the issues that they have because sometimes they open up to us. Even my own son will open up to his coach before me, so that gives us the opportunity to do that as well, ”said Ammon Crawford“ Coach C, ”said the founder of Southwest Georgetown Youth Organization Inc ..
Parks and Recreation staff will also begin de-escalation training soon. They hope it will start right after the Thanksgiving holiday.
All park staff will now wear high visibility vests so people can easily find help in an emergency.
Since this park is so large, the county is working hard to get golf carts and ATVs that the police can use to get from side to side more quickly.
While the Jennifer Ross Resort has been the center of attention, these changes will be implemented in parks across the county.
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