Church Police – Literally

This week, the Alabama senate voted to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located in Birmingham, to have their own police force.  The church has over 4,000 people in attendance each week and they run a private school.  They said having their own police force would help to keep everyone safe.

I was flabbergasted when I first read the article.  I admit they have a lot of people on their campus, but it still seems strange for a church to have its own police force.

I have been thinking about the pro’s and con’s of this decision.  If there is an emergency on the church campus, they will have the ability to respond quickly and potentially save lives.

However, what if there is a crime?  What if the crime is committed by a beloved member, volunteer, or leader?  Will the police force be able to maintain objectivity and investigate the crime?  Also, allowing people to police themselves often ends in disaster.

What do you think about this church having its own police force?


11 thoughts on “Church Police – Literally

  1. This gives me pause. With 4,000 members, I’m guessing they are rarely without a doctor, a fireman, a policeman, etc. in the audience. A small police force, unless it complies with all training, testing and reporting requirements of other police forces, seems like a step in the wrong direction, an opportunity to enforce a separate view of the law. Churches exist within the law that is common to all citizens.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have family in Homewood, and they aren’t happy about a private police force so close to them.

    The question I have is: Why? Is the crime rate so high at this church that they don’t think the local police can handle it? Or do they want to enforce some “laws” the official police don’t recognize?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Those are good questions. The church didn’t mention any criminal activity occurring at the campus. Instead they talked about the response time for possible criminal activity. I find the situation a bit troubling.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If they are that concerned about crime, why not just hire a couple of off duty police to be there during their services. I guess, they may be concerned about the school, but could also make accommodations to hire someone who is properly trained to be there too. For reasons others have stated above, I don’t think this was such a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The other large churches and some schools hire off duty police or security guards. As a side note, I live in Harvest, Alabama. Harvest is an unincorporated community with a population of a little over 5,000 people. We do not have our own police force. We utilize the police from neighboring cities.

      Liked by 1 person

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