Jefferson County Commission

Jefferson County Commission Unsure About Allotting Extra Money for Expanded World Games Security

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens. (Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)

The Jefferson County Commission on Thursday again delayed voting on the sheriff’s request for $1.2 million to pay for expanded security duties during The World Games.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens said he believed the request was premature because it wasn’t evident to him that the extra costs would run the sheriff’s budget into the red.

The sheriff’s office had been preparing to provide security during the games, but after some other law enforcement departments scaled back involvement during the event, the office was asked to take on more duties.

In a commission committee meeting Tuesday, Lt. Kerry Morgan said the county initially had been assigned to work Barber Motorsports Park and John Carroll Catholic High School. As agencies started to pull out, he said, Birmingham Police officials asked JeffCo deputies to take over at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, which involves four more venues.

The requested $1.2 million would pay for overtime during the 10 days of the games with deputies and supervisors working 12-hour shifts.

During Thursday’s meeting, Stephens again said he wanted more information to show whether the sheriff would need extra funds to cover security at venues.

Commissioner Lashunda Scales was the only commissioner who raised concerns about the decision but agreed to it after being assured that the commission could call a special meeting if needed to appropriate the funds.

The World Games begins July 7, and the commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting isn’t until July 12.