How does Briarwood Presbyterian Church Police sound to you? Ready to usher in a church police? In spite of the unorthodox, unheard of, and untested idea of a church police services agency (klpd), Birmingham, Alabama house of worship is the petition on the government, seeking permission to give birth to his own police.
In a nutshell, the Briarwood Presbyterian Church and the academic component, the Briarwood Christian School, had a lawyer author a bill that received the blessing of the Alabama House of Representatives and now awaits the signature of the Governor of Alabama Robert Bentley. The church bill outlines the operational design on the hiring of a police officer who is an official vehicle of the police and responsibility for the church and the school, the safety, with full powers of arrest.
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Like many churches across the country, Walnut usually hired off-duty cops to work security of their church and school. However, they ran into occasions when police officers were not available for rental. The next step was to consider their own cop shop in order to avoid that institutions such as the police needed was not yet feasible. It seems the Walnut Presbyterian Church Police Department (BPPD) will come to fruition, the first church of police in America.
What Walnut is the search to start is synonymous with the School Resource Officer (SRO) concept, which is what most schools throughout the country currently use. Sros are sworn law enforcement officers employed by a city or regional police entity who are assigned full-time to a school in his jurisdiction. Some school districts compensate the officer’s department for the service, while some split the cost. Other agencies designate an agent to-site, full-time, similar to those that patrol the streets (taxpayers ‘ money) with the exception of sun on school property, and what legal measures are needed. Sro’s are also viable mentors and quasi-instructors, while on campus, a win-win concept.
Despite the sanctity of a church, and a plan for keeping it quiet, the evil lurks and is often mobile. A hell-bent fool walking into the church is the challenge for the chosen Walnut cop. For example, we have recently learned that Dylan Roof, the shooter who walked into a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina church and killed nine members in 2015, left before police arrival. Using GPS records, police tracked Roof movements and determined he was going to be a second church. According to researchers, the Roof claimed he was too tired to run any further destruction in the second church.
A lone agent can use his or her hands full in such a situation, but if the backup is needed (and probably will) the police office in the area jurisdiction is your best friend. When an agent is in trouble, the cavalry is flawless, you are going to respond. Can a lone agent to prevent a Dylan Roof-type massacre to occur? Maybe. Off-duty police in plain clothes, in the presence of worship, are in a similar position to thwart wickedness. But, the distinction between them and a uniform, fully marked police officer and cruiser parked in front of the door translates to preempting a rampage by their mere presence.
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