New Alabama law limits police enforcement and other ordinances outside city jurisdictions

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BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) – If you live outside of your town or city’s jurisdiction you might notice some changes this week. For years municipalities across Alabama have enforced ordinances and policed areas outside their town and city limits, but this week that could end in many places across the state.

“It’s an attempt to really put municipal authority back inside municipal limits over time and to have the county commission exercise authority outside municipal limits in the county,” said Alabama Senator Chris Elliott.

Sponsored by Elliott, Act 2021-297 went into effect on Monday. The 28-page document is something cities like Fairhope are trying to sift through and understand. In cities with 6,000 or more residents, police jurisdictions can’t extend more than 3 miles outside of corporate limits.

“If the sheriff had to come in and patrol some of those areas that’s what would happen in the event that Fairhope lost some of that,” said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan.

And, enforcing city ordinances outside of Fairhope’s city limits just got tough, too.

“Things like our wetlands ordinance, leash laws, noise ordinances, sign ordinances, those are things that we will not be able to enforce any longer,” she added.

Senator Elliott says the new law affects 462 municipalities in 67 Alabama counties. He adds the new law will help to reduce business license fees and sales taxes long term. As far as public safety is concerned Senator Elliott says residents across Alabama shouldn’t notice any major changes. 

You can read the full documents here.

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