Category: Public Safety
The city of Birmingham will apply for state and federal grants to purchase new license plate readers and high-definition surveillance cameras, the City Council decided Tuesday.
It also increased its contract for computer-aided dispatch maintenance services. The city plans to launch its “real-time crime center” later this month to combat the city’s rising rate of violent crime. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is the first state police department in the country to have all of its officers certified in sensory-inclusive practices, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday. “Too often we have citizens with sensory issues or folks who have PTSD, autism, dementia and a whole host of special needs that, frankly, our heroes in blue haven’t been trained to deal with up to this point,” Ivey said. Read more.
Birmingham police will no longer use no-knock warrants such as the one that led to the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville last year. Mayor Randall L. Woodfin, Police Chief Patrick Smith and Thomas Beavers, senior pastor of The Star Church, announced that and several other revisions to police policies and procedures during an event Tuesday. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — A bill that would change the definition of riot in state law and increase penalties for those who participate in one has been pre-filed for the 2022 regular legislative session. Read more.
Scroll in and click on each location to read more about the person who was killed. A red ‘X’ indicates a homicide. A blue ‘X’ indicates an officer-involved shooting where a civilian was shot.
The city of Birmingham has recorded 63 homicides so far in 2021, according to data from the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.
Last year, Birmingham hit a record for the highest number of homicides in 25 years. The city’s police chief, Patrick Smith, told WBHM that even with that record high, the city fared well in comparison to other areas across the country.
“It could have been a whole lot worse,” Smith said. “Certainly, we don’t want to see the loss of life anywhere at all. And I wish that we could do more. But we’re trying to work within the confines of what we have as a department.” Read more.
Birmingham has been riddled with crime for decades, and people are concerned about the increasing number of homicides. In 2020, violent crimes such as rape and robberies decreased, but gun-related violent crimes increased almost 20%. Last year ended with a total of 122 homicides, the most in the last 25 years. So far in 2021, there have been at least 60 homicides in the city of Birmingham, according to data from the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. Read more.
Trauma doctors in Birmingham are treating a record number of patients with gunshot wounds. Health officials hope a violence intervention program could help reverse the trend. Read more.
The spike in Birmingham’s gun violence has many residents concerned and outraged. Local activists have said reducing shootings has to be a community effort, with local government support. Read more.
Several Alabama community colleges have not met all the requirements of a long-standing federal act on campus safety reporting, but officials say they will be compliant by the Oct. 1 reporting deadline. Read more.
Despite several recent shootings, Ensley’s Club Euphoria is staying open — for now. The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to give the venue 13 weeks to institute a safety plan and address neighborhood concerns, after which the council would decide whether to shutter the venue. Read more.