Could police merge?

Published 2:00 am Saturday, February 23, 2013

Could the East Brewton Police Department become a thing of the past?
Officials from East Brewton and Brewton have remained mum about rumors about a possible merger of their police departments, but officials with the League of Municipalities said such a move is not unprecedented — and is actually quite possible.
Tracy Roberts, an attorney with the Alabama League of Municipalities, said there have been other communities with similar questions as those being circulated in the East Brewton and Brewton Communities.
“We have had other cities who have had this issue come up,” Roberts said. “I’m not sure if any have resolved the issue.”
The issue at hand is whether or not to merge the East Brewton Police Department with the Brewton Police Department — an issue that many believe has merit, but is raising some ire with others.
Tyler Etheridge, a Brewton resident, said the decision might not be best for either city calling it a “bad move.”
“It wouldn’t help Brewton’s finances more,” Etheridge said. “It would just cost more.”
But other residents have said the merger could be good for East Brewton residents in reference to protection coverage.
“I think it would be a lot better if they go together,” said Jennie Carter.
Roberts said many steps would be necessary before such a merger could take place.
“There are steps that have to be taken to give that power to another authority,” Roberts said. “The first step would be a basic contract of authority between the two municipalities.”
Roberts said the contract between the two municipalities would have to give policing power to one department to cover both cities.
“The duration of the contract shall not exceed three years according to Alabama Code,” Roberts said. “The contract could be renewed for another three year term after that with either municipality having the right to refuse to renew the contract.”
No agenda has been finalized for Monday’s East Brewton City Council meeting, but city officials said if residents want to address the council, they need to be added to the agenda. They simply have to request to be placed on the agenda to speak by calling the city clerk’s office Monday.
The East Brewton City Council will conduct a regular meeting of the group on Monday beginning at 5:30 p.m. at East Brewton City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

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