Briarwood Presbyterian Church and Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama has asked for its own police department. The bill was proposed for the 4,000-member church by attorney Eric Johnston and it passed 9-2 in the House Public Safety Committee.
“We’ve got over 30,000 events a year that take place at Briarwood – going on all day, all night, at the school, at the church, at the seminary. We have to hire policemen all the time. It would be so much easier to have someone on staff.”
They want to hire a police officer on staff full-time without having to rely on off-duty police officers. It makes sense, but there are plenty of private security firms out there that allow you to find and hire an officer.
There is also the danger of having a police force that is loyal to the church above the law. This would be unprecedented in the U.S., and it absolutely shouldn’t come to be.
They wouldn’t have a jail or dispatch, so they have to interact with local police for detaining someone. This is just too much government mixing with the church. Some people are worried that it could lead to crimes being covered up.
Richard E. Levy, a constitutional law professor at Kansas University, said:
“It’s making the church take the role of the government. I would expect that if the law is enacted it would not be very long before it is challenged.”
This is a major violation of the Constitution, and it shouldn’t be passed.
Featured image via Twitter.