Home News Alabama church gets green light to hire its own Cops

Alabama church gets green light to hire its own Cops

Briarwood Presbyterian Church, PCA. Image source briarwood.org.
Briarwood Presbyterian Church, PCA. Image source: briarwood.org.

The Alabama State Senate has passed a bill that would give Briarwood Presbyterian Church the power to hire its own police officers. The bill was first introduced by a Republican state Representative in the Alabama House, where the bill passed 84-0.  It’s now been sent to the Governor to sign.

The Briarwood Church also operates an elementary and high school as well as seminary on campuses in two counties. “We are in a unique situation. We have a large private school, a large church, and we are dealing with incorporated Shelby County, Jefferson County, and coordinating with all of the municipalities around us,” a Briarwood Church Administrator said.

In an interview with Yellowhammer News, Matt Moore also stated that the primary motive of the bill is “child protection in an educational environment.” The bill would grant the officers all of the same powers that a standard city police force possesses, but they’d only have jurisdiction on Briarwood property.

The officers hired by the church would have to be certified by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards & Training Commission, according to the article.  The church would be responsible for the officer’s salaries.

During debate on the bill, one Democratic state Senator said he was concerned about starting a trend in the way the state polices. “What we’re about to do is start an avalanche of private police forces with public authority,” he said.

Moore told local media: “In essence the bill allows us to have a qualified first responder and proper communication to coordinate and corporate with surrounding cities in the event of some sort of safety issue.”

The governor has 14 days to sign the bill for it to become law.

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