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Should Birmingham PD and Jeffco Sheriff's Dept merge?


The Merger of BPD and Jeffco Sheriff's Dept  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the 2 merge?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I don't care

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I am wondering with some many muncipalities questioning their abilities to support its own police department like Graysville, Kimberly or those that have no plans at all like Center Point, Clay. Birmingham has a hierarchy of problems surrounding its police department including low salaries, under equiped, high turnover rates, and low enrollment of cadets in its academy. I want to know how do you guys feel about the Birmingham PD merging with Jefferson County Sheriff's Department like many law enforcement agencies across the region (Charlotte-Mecklenberg PD, Metro Police of Nashville-Davidson County)?

I think it might be a good idea because the Jeffco Sheriff's Dept. has 2 helicopters (something BPD direly needs due to its size and terrain), a decent salary, and it would a step towards a unification/cooperation of the region's government.

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In general, I think it's a good idea. For Birmingham and Jefferson County specifically, how do you convince residents they would be better served by combining the forces? People outside Birmingham, I'm guessing, specifically do not want Birmingham PD or think they are better served by the Sheriff. You mention 'decent salary'... how do you convince Birmingham residents they should pay decent salaries for personnel who do not patrol their city? It's zero sum. For cop paychecks to increase by some amount some other paychecks will have to go down (in essence - the money isn't magic, it comes from somewhere - and if it's not coming from the county then it's coming from the city.)
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I wish that Birmingham would have a Metro Police force. It would eliminate some costs simply by virtue of eliminating redundancies and putting resources where they should actually be directed. I know the move would have virtually a snowball's chance in this region, but if it did happen, it would be a huge step. I think the key to advancing this region is going to be in the inter-linking of communities. Far too many cities in our region now have a spirit of competition rather than cooperation which, ultimately, hampers the potential of all parties involved. Believe me... if the suburbs could agree to help out Birmingham in landing some major corporations/plants, etc. it would benefit them ALL. They somehow have in their mind that they have to fight to have these things in their little communities. And what that comes down to is greed. And it's going to kill this whole region if Birmingham dies. People need to wake up and see what's going on.

I think perception of downtown is beginning to change, and that's good. But we've got a long way to go. Birmingham needs to work hard to weed out corruption and work on forming strong bonds with (at least) the cities that touch their borders. Strong regional support is the only way Birmingham can reach its full potential.

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