The Savannah Police Department selected Gerard V. Tate to lead the agency’s End Gun Violence program, with a goal of reducing the number of shooting incidents and other gun-related issues that occur citywide. According to announcement by the SPD, Tate previously served as a Police and Community Engagement Specialist in Ferguson, Missouri, and was also employed as the Police Support Services Division Manager in Marysville, California. He is a ten-year U.S. Army veteran, with his service including time as a military police officer working in the criminal investigations section. “As a native of one of the most notorious gun-violence hotspots in America, I have firsthand knowledge of what it is like to grow up in communities plagued by gun violence,” Tate stated, referring to his upbringing in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. Tate’s educational background includes earning a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Webster University, a master’s in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, and his doctorate in social work from University of Southern California. “My personal, academic, and occupational experiences have prepared me precisely for a role like the End Gun Violence Director for the Savannah Police Department,” Tate stated. Savannah’s entire police force will benefit from Tate’s ability to identify root causes of local crime through an understanding of human behavior and social policy, according to SPD Chief Roy Minter. “Our highest priority is to address and reduce gun violence in our community. We are very fortunate to have someone with the knowledge and expertise that Dr. Tate has at the helm of this program,” Minter stated. In his new role, Tate will manage day-to-day operations of the SPD’s End Gun Violence program, created to address Savannah’s gun-violence issues with a public-health approach used to implement strategies that reduce violent crime. Tate’s work also entails engaging directly with the community, drawing on his experience of working with middle-school students as a D.A.R.E. officer. According to the SPD website, the End Gun Violence program targets Savannah’s most violent groups and gang members who are responsible for a majority of shootings and homicides in the community, offering to provide them with social services to break free from the cycle of violence that often results in gun-related crimes. Tate begins his service with the SPD in the first week of February, according to the Jan. 29 announcement. “The Savannah Police Department is very excited about the addition of Dr. Tate to our agency,” Minter stated.