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Jefferson County Sheriff asking for additional $1.2 million to strengthen World Games Security efforts

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:34 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:36 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re getting a new look at how much it will take to make The World Games in Birmingham safe.

Now the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is increasing not only the number of events they will work, but the number of deputies they’re using and how long they’ll work.

This all comes on the heels of Sheriff Pettway asking the Jefferson County Commission for an additional $1.2 million in funding for World Games protection efforts.

“We did not have this in our initial budget because we did not know what it would take to man the World Games. Then also during the process of meeting and getting together and working out the different posts we did have some people or different agencies back out and when they backed out we had to step up a little bit more,” said Sheriff Pettway.

The Sherriff claims one of the reasons he is asking for additional funds is so his department won’t be spread thin across the country. The $1.2 million would pay for overtime during the games.

“We want to make sure we have personnel in place so we don’t have to take people off their beats or the areas they are patrolling in Jefferson County,” said Sheriff Pettway.

Commissioner Jimmie Stephens tells us the county won’t just cut a check, instead they will try to balance out any potential additional costs at the end of the budget year, stressing that the community’s safety is of the utmost importance.

“Not whether they are going to get, it is will it be needed at the end of the budget year. We are not going to back up on anything we do and we are not going to engage personnel that are unfunded,” said County Commission President Jimmie Stephens.

It is also unclear whether agencies or departments dropped out or simply changed the amount of resources and officers they would provide. Either way, that is why the Jefferson County Sheriff says his department will be increasing their role.

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