Ivey signs law allowing Briarwood to hire police force

Published 12:35 pm Friday, June 21, 2019

From the Associated Press

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed legislation permitting Briarwood Presbyterian Church to establish its own police force for its church and school campuses.

The law approved two weeks ago allows the Vestavia Hills-based church to set-up a private law enforcement department to make arrests when crimes are committed on its properties.

Church officials say the measure is necessary to provide adequate security for the 2,000 students and faculty on its two private school campuses. The elementary school is located in Vestavia Hills, while the upper level school is located in north Shelby County.

Randall Marshall, the executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, says the law could allow the church to cover-up criminal activity that occurs on its campuses. He expects the law to be challenged in the courts for unconstitutionally granting government power to a religious institution.

The new policy will go into effect in the fall.