SUMMERDALE, Ala. (WKRG) -Policing in Baldwin County could look much different this time next year.
“Baldwin County is a large county. It’s bigger than the state of Rhode Island and when you put all of the excess jurisdictions on the county, that’s going to cause some debate,” said Summerdale Police Chief Kevin Brock.
He’s talking about Senate Bill 107. Earlier this year the law went into effect, forcing municipalities to limit their police jurisdictions across Alabama. The Town of Summerdale is now deciding how far they want that jurisdiction to extend. Currently, the jurisdiction extends about a mile and half outside of town limits.
“There are some jurisdictions considering pulling back to their town limits and I believe some have already made commitments to do that. We are still in the process of talking with the community,” he said.
If Summerdale pulls officers back to town limits that means the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office will be the primary agency responsible for the other areas. In turn, that could affect some of the response times to residents outside of town limits.
“They are stretched and this will stretch them even more if we decide to do this they’ll have to answer some calls. It will affect the community on response times for non-emergency stuff,” said Chief Brock.
But, reducing the jurisdiction which right now covers about 50 square miles, could save the town money and ultimately help grow the community with residents wanting to eventually annex into town limits for police protection. It’s a decision the town council will make in the coming weeks with the help of the community’s input.