Off-duty Ala. deputies can now drive patrol cars to church

Sheriffs say they hope it will 'serve as a deterrence' after a gunman opened fire at a Texas church last month


Leada Gore
Alabama Media Group

BIRMINGHAM — Off-duty deputies in two North Alabama counties will now be able to drive their county cars to places of worship.

Lawrence County Sheriff Max Sanders and Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton have amended vehicle policies to give off-duty deputies the option of driving their county vehicles to church. The decision comes after a gunman opened fire last month at a Texas church, killing two people before he was killed by armed churchgoers.

Lauderdale County deputies are now permitted to drive their patrol vehicles to their places of worship. (Photo/TNS)
Lauderdale County deputies are now permitted to drive their patrol vehicles to their places of worship. (Photo/TNS)

According to Sanders, the goal of allowing deputies to drive county vehicles to worship is to “create a greater visual presence within the community" to serve “as a deterrence.”

“This will be voluntary on the part of the deputy. Deputies, by virtue of their oath, always have certain duties to respond. This hopefully is another proactive/positive step in serving the citizens,” the sheriff said via a Facebook post.

The reasoning in Lauderdale County is the same.

“We felt like it was a good idea that any of our deputies who wanted to drive their vehicles to church on their off days would not be a problem,” Singleton told WHNT. "It would help us keep our community and our county safer.

"The vehicle itself is a deterrent and if someone pulls onto the campus with the intent of doing something they shouldn't be doing, hopefully, they'll think twice.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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