The following is an editorial from WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Tuesday, July 7, 2009.
New to the area, I have asked the question: What are the responsibilities of Jefferson County's Sheriff's department? Certainly, their duties include, responsibility for the jail, providing security for the Courthouse, and administering warrants. But for those of us living outside the city limits of Birmingham, their broadest responsibility lies in providing safety and security for the unincorporated areas of Jefferson County.
The debate over county funding continues to rage, with funding for the Sheriff's Dept at the center of it all. The Sheriff is an independently elected official but dependent upon the County for the revenue to manage his business...and our safety. With reduced funding and fewer deputies, how much will community patrolling be compromised? As county funds are being allocated, should public safety be at the top of the list of priorities?
As important as this is, why can't the adults involved work toward compromise! Bottom line... do you really want the Courts to make the decision on how your public safety will be handled?
Please send comments or suggestions to:
P.O. Box 6
Birmingham, AL 35201