A large church in Alabama is one step closer to creating its own police force, a move that seems to be without precedent in the U.S. The state's Senate has approved legislation that would give church police officers the same powers other law enforcement officers have in Alabama. [...]
Both chambers' legislation specifically names Briarwood Presbyterian Church, a Birmingham megachurch that "says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe," Alabama Public Radio reports. [...]
Earlier this month, Alabama's House adopted the Alabama Church Protection Act, which would help religious groups form armed security patrols. It authorizes "any church or place of worship to establish a security program by which designated members are authorized to carry firearms for the protection of the congregation of the church or place of worship." The act also provides "limited immunity for members of such a program when they're acting within their duties.
Church Can Start Its Own Police Force, Alabama Senate Says