Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Jack Lumpkin said Thursday the department is poised to move forward as he leaves for Dekalb County.
He said violent crime rates have gone down during his three-year tenure, and that more citizens are working with police to solve crimes. He also touted the department's increased focus on intelligence-led policing.
Lumpkin's departure comes as the joint police department prepares to split, with separate forces set to serve the city of Savannah and unincorporated Chatham County beginning Feb. 1.
Lumpkin said his staff has been in meetings with him and new County Chief Jeff Hadley, and the staff shares his philosophy.
"They want to cooperate with the Chatham County Police Department, Chatham County Sheriff's Department and our municipalities. And they're going to do what's necessary to maintain safety and security," he said.
Lumpkin added that the joint department will keep policing both the city and the county until the county department is up and running.
"Whether that's February 1, whether that's January 20 or February 20," he said, "we're going to cooperate with each other. We're going to continue to put patrol officers into those slots where they are supposed to be."
A spokeswoman for Chatham County said the county department will take over patrols as planned Feb. 1, though some detectives could take longer to transition.
On Jan. 28. Lumpkin will become Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Public Safety in Dekalb County.