Church to have police department

Pastors get what they want in the south, and a Presbyterian church in Alabama wants to have its own police department.

The Alabama Senate has voted to allow a church to form its own police force.

Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a law enforcement department.

The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe.

It shouldn’t need to be said that this has so many problems that the bill should never have even made it to the floor for a vote.

  • Will the uniforms have sectarian decorations? Almost certainly.

  • Will persons of all religions, or no religion, be eligible for service on this police force? Not likely.

  • Can the public enjoy confidence that crimes within the church will be properly investigated? No. After all, the Chief is the pastor, with a reputation to protect.

This will doubtless be challenged in the courts if the bill passes the Alabama House and a police force is authorized. Let’s hope the courts aren’t as craven as Alabama’s legislature.

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