Tag: Public Safety

Birmingham Council Shuts Down Mahogany Bar Despite Some Community Support

The Mahogany Social Bar and Lounge will remain permanently closed after a vote by the Birmingham City Council on Tuesday.

Owner Montego Temple had moved the club to its 1709 Third St. W location after its previous location across the street burned down. Though Temple told councilors he believed he had secured a transfer of his liquor license and dance permit to the new location, he was arrested in December for operating without a proper license.

But complaints from the Birmingham Police Department that the club was a threat to public safety ultimately stymied his efforts to legally reopen Mahogany. Police pointed to 10 calls for service to the club in the past six months — ranging from gunshots to car break-ins — as well as an inspection by Detective Victor Langford that showed multiple safety issues and culminated with a fistfight in the club. Read more.

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith Resigns, Citing Personal Matters

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith resigned Friday, saying he wanted to focus on personal matters.

Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin appointed Capt. Scott Thurmond, a 23-year veteran on the force, to replace Smith on an acting basis, according to a statement issued by the mayor’s office.

In a letter to Woodfin on Friday, Smith resigned effective Feb. 25, but he asked to be put on administrative leave with pay until then to allow him to conclude some personal business and to allow for a smooth transition to new leadership. Read more.

Birmingham Delays ICE Agreement, Wants to Assure It Won’t Lead to Police Involvement in Deportations

The Birmingham City Council has delayed approval of an agreement with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that would appoint several city police officers as customs officers for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations jurisdiction.

The 3-year deal would provide for the continuation of a previously established task force that District 2 Councilor Hunter Williams said is focused on “combating both human trafficking and large-scale narcotics operations in the city of Birmingham.”

Mayor Randall Woodfin asserted that the agreement would not result in deportations or administrative removal of any undocumented Birmingham residents.

“I have stated on a pretty consistent basis that the city of Birmingham does not have any interest in doing the federal government’s job, but there’s something more powerful than words, and that’s, like, your actions,” Woodfin said. “We’re not here to do the job of deportation.”

But the association with ICE — and the unclear wording of the ordinance — left both advocates and councilors dubious of the proposal. Read more.

Birmingham Applies for Grants to Beef Up Surveillance, Readies to Open Real-Time Crime Center

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.

Alabama Becomes First in Nation to Certify All ALEA Officers in Sensory Inclusive Practices

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.