Birmingham Police Chief voices support for anti-gang legislation

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 1:40 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some Alabama lawmakers are working to get tough on gang members and gang-related activity.

Here’s what they want to do: criminalize gang activity, give lengthier sentences, and charge anyone 16 years or older caught participating as an adult.

Chief Thurmond stresses he hopes it passes, and he expects most in law enforcement are in support of it. The idea is the changes would finally give law enforcement another tool to tackle the gang issue in our state.

State Attorney General Steve Marshall is also pushing for the legislative changes.

He points specifically to Birmingham’s homicide rate saying many of those are directly attributable to gang activity.

Chief Thurmond says the city has had a little better experience when it comes to gang activity this year, and he credits the success to partnerships at both the local and national level.

“I think we are moving in the right direction. A lot of that is just the Birmingham Police Department working with Jefferson County Sheriff’s department, the District Attorney’s office, the U.S. Attorney’s office, all of our federal partners just like the FBI on a daily basis to combat that. As we all work together we are a huge force multiplier that will help combat that problem,” said Chief Thurmond.

Law enforcement officials from around the state signed a letter written to Alabama’s legislators urging them to support the bills that could help them combat the rise of gang activity and gang violence. You can view that letter by clicking here.

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