Reporter: McClellan, Don.
In this WSB newsfilm clip from 1963, Lowell Conner, director of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, responds to questions about the coverage of expenses related to a recent dispatch of Georgia state troops to Savannah, and how he plans on handling future requests for state police reinforcement.
WSB reporter Don McLellan asks Conner who pays for the lodging and meals of state troopers when they are requested to assist a municipal police force. Conner replies that he can only speak for the past five years, and that the city or county making the request has "picked up the tab" for food and lodging, while the Department of Public Safety has covered costs related to transporting officers and equipment. McLellan reports about the defeat of a recent "local" bill that would reimburse the city of Savannah for the expense of lodging state troopers who were called in for assistance. He asks McLellan if Savannah officials initially agreed to pay for the food and lodging of the troopers; Conner answers "yes, they did the same thing. . ." and is cut off by a break in the clip. McLellan's follow-up question is incompletely recorded; he asks Connor if the agreement with Savannah officials was recorded in writing, and if such agreements are normally placed in writing. Conner responds "No, I've not had any agreement in writing from any official in cases of that nature." He adds that he and Savannah officials discussed a figure of approximately eighteen-thousand dollars, summarizes "all I can say is that we don't have it," and smiles. McLellan asks Conner if he plans to insist upon a written agreement from cities or counties requesting backup from state troopers; Conner responds that he hopes not, and doubts it will be necessary, but acknowledges that "something will need to be worked out for the future . . ." Conner's comment is cut short by a break at the end of the clip.
During the summer of 1963, African Americans in Savannah, Georgia, engaged in numerous confrontational civil rights demonstrations to desegregate the city; these were led primarily by the Savannah National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Chatham County Crusade for Voters (CCCV). Savannah mayor Malcolm MacLean requested state troopers from Georgia governor Carl Sanders; the governor also placed the National Guard on alert. Fifty state patrolmen were called in on a nine-day assignment that lasted from June 18 to June 26; state troopers were asked to return again during a July 11 riot that took place after a demonstration protesting the arrest of Hosea Williams, head of the CCCV. These demonstrations, where more than five hundred protesters were jailed, finally compelled white business leaders to agree to a widespread desegregation plan that went into effect on October 1, 1963.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
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WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Lowell Conner, director of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, discussing payment for state troops when they are requested by local governments, Georgia, 1963, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1139, 13:02/14:38, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.