Mobile County is asking the City of Mobile to delay a move to cuts its police jurisdiction in half.
“We know it’s coming,” said Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl. “We’re just asking for more time. We can’t complete this in four months, it’s physically impossible.”
Right now the City provides police and fire protection three miles beyond its borders. It announced last week that it will cut that distance in half starting January 1st.
Today Carl and fellow County Commissioner Connie Hudson appeared before the City Council and asked that the move be delayed until January, 2018. They say setting up police, EMS, and especially fire protection in just four month time would be virtually impossible.
If the City pulls back its jurisdiction, certain neighborhoods would, at least on paper, be left without fire protection and would have to hold a referendum to go into a neighboring volunteer fire district. In the meantime, insurance rates there could skyrocket.
“Without coverage on paper that we can show the insurance commissioners where we have coverage the rates will go thru the roof,” said Carl. “That’s something we are very concerned with.”
Carl and Hudson say they understand that under new state laws that the City has the right to cut their jurisdiction, but they say they had no warning this was coming.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson stressed today that the move will save the City more than a million dollars and that they need that money sooner, rather than later, to give police and firefighters raises and bonuses.