Savannah law enforcement officers underwent training this week in preparation for the city’s new marijuana ordinance. On July 1, officers will have the option of issuing a citation for possession of an ounce of marijuana or less. Training including making the decision to cite or arrest someone possessing marijuana.
One of the reasons for the ordinance is to allow law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes in the city, WBRC 6 News reports. The move will also save money in areas like transporting offenders and processing them. The ordinance was introduced by Alderman Van Johnson.
Captain Alexander Tobar said, “There’s a lot of training that we do throughout the year to make sure officers are using procedural justice, treating everybody fairly, and unbiasedly.”
Captain Tobar said, “Having to go through that process of arresting somebody, putting them in a squad car, searching them, doing all these things, it took a great deal of time.”
Johnson said, “Really being able to be on the street fighting crime is what we want them to do. It’s a tool in their toolbox. It’s for them to have discretion. It’s about judgement so we have to train officers to have good judgement, how to make the right decisions, how to make sure the punishment fits the circumstances.”