Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Police Partner with DEA to Battle Violent Crime

Birmingham City Council. (Source: City Council’s Facebook page)

Birmingham Police officers will be assigned to a new High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas task force under a partnership between the Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The partnership, Mayor Randall Woodfin said, will “make a huge difference” in the city’s fight against violent crime.

The agreement will allocate federal funds to the city to pay salary and benefits for participating officers through Sept. 30, 2025. Woodfin assured councilors that the program would focus on police detectives and would not take regular patrol officers off their beats.

District 2 Councilor Hunter Williams said that the partnership “gives us a lot of access to things that we might typically not have access to … . One thing that has not been successful for the city of Birmingham is to be on an island by ourself. We absolutely have to work with other agencies and utilize those resources that, quite frankly, our department nor any other municipal department our size have. I think it’s a great thing when we can find synergies with other agencies that are getting funded by other larger, governmental entities.”

Woodfin’s administration has focused on increasing cooperation among the BPD and other law enforcement agencies, including partnerships with Jefferson County and federal officials to combat gun violence and an agreement with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement deputizing several BPD officers as customs officers, ostensibly to combat human trafficking.

The new partnership’s results may not have immediate visible impact to neighborhood residents, Woodfin added, given the “significant amount of time for investigative purposes” that police detectives require.