- CRITTER TALK
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by Michael John Scott
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would authorize Briarwood Presbyterian Church to employ its own police force. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.
The Birmingham-area congregation of 4,000 wants to create a police department to protect its church and school, apparently having no confidence in their local police force.
A House committee has approved a similar bill, but the proposal has not yet gotten a floor vote, although, given it’s Alabama that vote is likely to get a majority in favor.
Church administrator Matt Moore told the committee that the Sandy Hook school shooting “changed everything” in terms of concerns about security, even though it happened in 2012, and in another state entirely.
The state has given a few private universities the authority to have a police force, but never a church or non-school entity.
Opponents worry, rightfully so, that crimes and other misbehavior could easily be covered up by the church, which relies on Jesus to make its laws.
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