SEMMES, Ala. (WKRG) — On Tuesday night, the Semmes City Council approved to pull back Police Jurisdiction lines beginning Jan. 1.
In the new year, Mobile County Sheriff Office will patrol these areas. But Sherriff Paul Burch had no clue this was going to be voted into action.
“I’ll start by saying it’s a shame that I found out from the media that this has been voted on,” Burch said.
Burch said that it’s been a topic of discussion for months as other smaller cities like Saraland have also pulled back jurisdiction lines, but when becoming official, the department were included in meetings to finalize details before being approved.
“There were discussions in past months in what the maps would look like, but they weren’t sure how far they would pull back and again there were opposing opinions on what the map would look like. I don’t know if we ever resolved that,” Burch said.
Currently, police jurisdictions in Semmes covers a mile and a half outside of the city limits. In January, the police jurisdiction will only cover a half mile outside of the city limits.
According to Semmes Police, in the last fiscal year, they responded to 2,200 calls to the 1-mile stretch that will no longer be a part of the jurisdiction.
“We will have to see what that looks like as far as calls for service and that will be deputies that I will have to hire to put in those areas,” Burch said.
Residents like Forest Payne have lived outside of the Semmes city limits but in the police jurisdiction since 1974. He says that he has never seen Semmes Police in his neighborhood.
“We have only had the sheriff department cover this area,” Payne said.
Now, Burch only has a few months to prepare his team for the added coverage area.
“We will meet and discuss it,” Burch said. “The mayor there is a really great guy.”
WKRG reached out to the Semmes Mayor today, and we are still waiting for a response.