Ala. Senate votes to allow church to form PD

The church says it needs a police force to protect their school and 4,000 members


By PoliceOne Staff

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  — The Alabama Senate has voted to allow a church to establish its own police department.

According to FOX 5 Atlanta, lawmakers voted earlier this month to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church to establish a police department.

The church, which has a school and a 4,000 person congregation, says it needs its own officers to keep its members safe.

Critics argue that a department that reports to church officials could be used to cover up crimes. Police experts have said such a department would be unprecedented in the U.S.

Alabama has given a few private universities authority to have a police force, but never a non-school entity or a church.

A similar bill is also scheduled to be debated in the House.

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