Several Alabama Law Enforcement agencies allowing officers to drive patrol cars to churches to deter crime

Taking patrol cars to church

CULLMAN, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re getting perspective from a local churches on why they are glad to see Alabama officers driving their patrol cars to places of worship.

“I walked up the side of the building and I noticed some glass and I backed away, not sure,” said Trae Norrell, Pastor at Grace Chapel Church in Cullman.

It was a scary moment for Pastor Trae Norrell when he discovered his church had been broken into.

“I didn’t know if someone was in the building,” said Norrell.

He called police and they all searched the sanctuary but Norrell said no one was inside. The thief had gotten away with thousands of dollars in musical equipment and electronics.

Since the burglary which police believe happened between Sunday night January 5 and Tuesday January 7, Pastor Norrell said the congregation was working to ramp up security like upgrading their alarm system, adding cameras, and going to church safety seminars with locals law enforcement.

“Especially with things that are going on with Texas,” Norrell said.

That shooting at a Texas church claimed the lives of two people.

With more and more houses of worship being targets of crime, local law enforcement agencies have been thinking of ways to help protect places of worship.

Chief Kenny Cullpepper of the Cullman Police Department said city policy allows officers to drive their patrol cars to churches and schools.

The Walker County Sheriff’s Office posted an announcement on their social media page giving deputies clearance to drive their marked patrol cars to church.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also allows their deputies to drive patrol cars to churches, schools, and grocery stores.

Norrell said he thinks the extra layer of security is a good idea.

"Brings some security and peace there,” said Norrell.

Norrell said the church was able to replace all of the stolen equipment.

He even had a sense of humor about the ordeal, he said the thief took a laptop but left behind the power cord, so he offered the power cord to anyone who may need it.

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