MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A special ad-hoc committee of the Mobile City Council will meet on Tuesday, January 14th at 2:00 p.m. to discuss withdrawing city services from the police jurisdiction.
“This is an incredibly important matter of great consequence to our city and county,” said Councilwoman Bess Rich in a statement sent to News 5.
Rich will chair of the committee. Councilman Joel Daves, who authored the proposal, and Councilman Fred Richardson also will serve on the committee.
Daves recently proposed removing police and fire protection from the jurisdiction which extends three miles from the city limits. Half of the city’s five-percent sales tax is collected in the jurisdiction, but Daves claims the city is losing more than 20 million dollars a year providing the area police and fire services.
The moves comes a couple of months after the City Council voted to deny approximately 21,000 people living west of the city the opportunity to be annexed into Mobile. It was the first time an annexation vote had ever been denied by Mobile. The council voted along racial lines, 4-3, with proponents of annexation claiming African-American council members did not want to dilute the city’s black majority.
With annexation apparently not possible, some argue pulling police and fire protection from the jurisdiction might force people living there to annex into Semmes, or incorporate a new suburb, choking off Mobile’s ability to grow to the west. The Mobile County Commission and the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office also oppose pulling police and fire services from the jurisdiction.
The meeting on the 14th is open to the public and will be held in the council’s conference room on the ninth floor of Government Plaza.
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