Thursday, September 23, 2021

New Alabama law limits police enforcement and other ordinances outside city jurisdictions

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — If you live outside of your town or city’s jurisdiction you might notice some changes this week. Alabama has been enforcing ordinances and policing areas outside their city limits for years. However, this week could see that change in many parts of the state.

“It’s an attempt to really put municipal authority back inside municipal limits over time and to have the county commission exercise authority outside municipal limits in the county,” said Alabama Senator Chris Elliott.

Act 2021-297 was sponsored by Elliott and went into effect Monday. Fairhope is trying to understand the 28-page document. In cities with 6,000 or more residents, police jurisdictions can’t extend more than 3 miles outside of corporate limits.

“If the sheriff had to come in and patrol some of those areas that’s what would happen in the event that Fairhope lost some of that,” said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan.

And, enforcing city ordinances outside of Fairhope’s city limits just got tough, too.

“Things like our wetlands ordinance, leash laws, noise ordinances, sign ordinances, those are things that we will not be able to enforce any longer,” she added.

Senator Elliott stated that the new law will affect 462 municipalities in 67 Alabama county. He says the new law will allow for long-term reductions in business license fees and sales tax. As far as public safety is concerned Senator Elliott says residents across Alabama shouldn’t notice any major changes. 

You can find the complete documents here.

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