Recommended reforms coming for AL law enforcement

Recommended reforms coming for AL law enforcement

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A state task force will be presenting its report to Governor Robert Bentley this weekend which will recommend ways to cut the state's law enforcement spending by at least ten percent.

One of the most likely and controversial recommendations is to meet this reduction by combining some of the state's 22 law enforcement agencies.

Members of the Integrated Enforcement Task Force aren't saying yet what would be cut under the proposal. However, it appears the consolidation of departments will clearly be on the table.

Surprisingly, local law enforcement appears to be in favor of the cost cutting move.

"I have a tremendous amount of faith in speaker Hubbard. I've spoken to him about it and one thing about Speaker Hubbard is that he has always been a true friend to law enforcement, and I know that he isn't going to do anything that not in the best interest of the citizens of Alabama when is come to their safety and protection," explains Auburn Police Chief, Tommy Dawson.

Dawson shared how a major drug-bust on Friday and could not have been done without the combined efforts of the Alabama Beverage Control Board and the Lee County Sheriff's Department.

"I think it's going to affect local government in a good way as far as law enforcement," Dawson said. "I think you'll have more resources at your disposal."

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, whose responsibilities could greatly expand under a consolidation move, understands the need for efficiency but also is sensitive to those who could lose jobs with such a merger.

"I hope the result will be efficiencies at the state level, but I certainly don't want it to end up being a circumstance where individuals are being reduced," says Jones, "Hopefully they can be absorbed into other agencies under those circumstances and to just bring the same or hopefully more law enforcement officers to bare in corporative efforts throughout the state."

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