Author Topic: Church wants to establish their own police force  (Read 424 times)

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Online Desert Fox

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Church wants to establish their own police force
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:46:57 AM »
This is something I just don't understand
http://abc3340.com/news/local/briarwood-presbyterian-church-seeks-lawmakers-approval-to-establish-police-force

Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Vestavia Hills is trying to establish its own police force.

The move requires approval from state lawmakers. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Shelby County) cleared its first major hurdle Wednesday. The House Public Safety Committee gave its OK.

Briarwood Presbyterian Church calls this a way to create a safer campus in a fallen world.

Some lawmakers argue allowing a private church to have its own police force could begin a slippery slope.

“What do we do when other church affiliates come and ask for the same thing?” questioned Rep. Mary Moore (D-Birmingham). “They're not a college. They're a church and they're a church asking for police jurisdiction.”
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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 09:50:31 AM »
Oppose Sharia law!  Only Christianity should be allowed to violate the separation of church and state!
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Online Mr. Beagle

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 10:44:01 AM »
The megachurches often employ a bunch of off-duty officers on Sundays to direct traffic and handle internal security. This is expensive. Most megachurches are also plagued with oddball "hangers-on" who are looking for cash assistance, food, or just attention. They need to be dealt with "discreetly", as they scare off parishioners. I know one large church whose leader always has an armed bodyguard at a discreet distance.

This is likely the motivation for the request for quasi-official status.
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 12:47:54 PM »
The megachurches often employ a bunch of off-duty officers on Sundays to direct traffic and handle internal security. This is expensive. Most megachurches are also plagued with oddball "hangers-on" who are looking for cash assistance, food, or just attention. They need to be dealt with "discreetly", as they scare off parishioners. I know one large church whose leader always has an armed bodyguard at a discreet distance.

This is likely the motivation for the request for quasi-official status.
Yep, private security, not crazy; private police, pretty crazy and a bad precedent.  Up until I saw that they want their own jail I was willing to consider it, that just seems like a recipe for accountable abuse of power. 

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 01:59:56 PM »
Many colleges and universities have their own police forces.  Is this so different?
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Online Desert Fox

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2017, 02:36:17 PM »
Many colleges and universities have their own police forces.  Is this so different?

The colleges have the population of a town . . . .
The two local colleges with police forces - ODU has a student body of 25,000 for example, NSU has a student body of 7,000.
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 02:44:13 PM »
As I understand it, most colleges with a police force that has actual police power are state run organizations.  Most don't run afoul of the first amendment either.   Policing is pretty unambiguously a function of the government. 

Do colleges typically have their own holding cells?

Online Desert Fox

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 02:47:47 PM »
As I understand it, most colleges with a police force that has actual police power are state run organizations.  Most don't run afoul of the first amendment either.   Policing is pretty unambiguously a function of the government. 

Do colleges typically have their own holding cells?

ODU and NSU are both state run schools
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2017, 09:31:49 PM »
As I understand it, most colleges with a police force that has actual police power are state run organizations.

I'm not sure how true that is.  I know that in Connecticut there are several private Universities whose police departments have full statewide enforcement powers (at least Yale University, New Haven University, and Fairfield University — all private).  The same is true of (off the top of my head) Brown, Harvard, and Duke.  According to Wikipedia, 73% of private universities have their own police forces.

To be clear, I'm not sure that expanding private police forces is a good idea; but it's not unprecedented.
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Online SkeptiQueer

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 10:54:49 PM »
SLU (local Jesuit university) and their attachments all use licensed security officers. WashU (private nonreligious college) has actual campus police.

YMMV.
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 01:34:00 AM »
Make 'em hire mercenaries, like the church has always done.

Online Ah.hell

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Re: Church wants to establish their own police force
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2017, 09:38:48 AM »
As I understand it, most colleges with a police force that has actual police power are state run organizations.

I'm not sure how true that is.  I know that in Connecticut there are several private Universities whose police departments have full statewide enforcement powers (at least Yale University, New Haven University, and Fairfield University — all private).  The same is true of (off the top of my head) Brown, Harvard, and Duke.  According to Wikipedia, 73% of private universities have their own police forces.

To be clear, I'm not sure that expanding private police forces is a good idea; but it's not unprecedented.
I'm not overly surprised that I'm wrong.