JeffCo lawmaker wants to use office money for security - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

JeffCo lawmaker wants to tap into unused office money for security

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Representative Allen Farley (R-McCalla) speaks at a Jefferson County City Council meeting Tuesday. (abc3340.com) Representative Allen Farley (R-McCalla) speaks at a Jefferson County City Council meeting Tuesday. (abc3340.com)
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Pistol permits could help arm Jefferson County law enforcement agencies and keep residents safer. A lawmaker wants to turn over the Jefferson County Legislative Fund to the county.

Any law enforcement agency within Jefferson County would be able to use the money for more officers, cars, radars or anything to help public safety.

In the 2121 building, there's an office few people have heard about paid for by the Jefferson County Legislative Fund. Representative Allen Farley, (R) McCalla, learned about it two years into his current term.

"One point five million dollars, 165 thousand dollars a year is just sitting there. No one has been in this office since January of 2011," he said.

$2.50 from each Jefferson County pistol permit sale goes into the fund. Farley wants to hand it over to the county to help the 29 law enforcement agencies.

"If they just got five, six, seven, eight thousand dollars- what would do they with that? They could buy their department, their officers bullet proof vests. They might be able to buy a piece of radar equipment," he said of the potential spending power for smaller agencies.

Homewood Police Chief Jim Roberson says it would definitely help. He recalls spending two years trying to get grant money for a six thousand dollar piece of equipment.

The money could also fund courthouse security, hire more security guards and officers or even fix the courthouse security cameras.

The bill is currently being advertised. Farley is going to wait until the advertising period is over before introducing it. But he's been told by the Jefferson County Delegation chairman there are no guarantees about getting it passed.

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