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By JAY REEVES
Associated Press Writer
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The sheriff in Alabama's most populous county may call for the National Guard to help maintain order, a spokesman said Tuesday, after a judge cleared the way for cuts in the sheriff's budget and hopes dimmed for a quick end to a budget crisis.
Circuit Judge Joseph L. Boohaker ruled that leaders in Jefferson County - now trying to head off a municipal bankruptcy filing of historic proportions - could go ahead with plans to slash $4.1 million from the budget of Sheriff Mike Hale, who had filed a lawsuit that temporarily blocked spe
About 1,000 county workers already are on unpaid leave because courts threw out a key county tax, and Hale has warned that reductions to his budget would mean fewer patrols by deputies and decreased courthouse security.
A spokesman for Hale, Randy Christian, said the sheriff told Gov. Bob Riley after the ruling that state assistance may be needed to perform basic law enforcement tasks once the department's current funding is exhausted in early September.
"We will certainly be looking at calling in the National Guard," said Christian.
Originally posted by fraterormus
Jefferson County in Alabama has been facing some tough Economic times. About 16 months ago, the county was devalued by S&P and Moody's to Junk bond status. 15 months ago the County defaulted on it's bonds and missed their opportunity to file a Chapter 9 Bankruptcy.
If you think Detroit Michigan is facing some tough Economic hardships, you haven't seen Birmingham Alabama and the rest of Jefferson County.
Having to lay off 2,000 County Employees immediately after putting 1,000 County Employees on Administrative Leave without pay. When you are financially broke and can't file for Bankruptcy protection from your creditors, there isn't much else you can do.
The biggest problem, however, is that Birmingham has always been a city built on injustice. You used to have "Dynamite Hill" in Birmingham, but since the Civil Rights Movement, the entire city has become a Powder Keg waiting to go off.
And this won't be the first time the National Guard has had to be used in Birmingham (just as it often has to be called out in Atlanta Georgia just as many times for similar reasons). However, National Guard is different from Federal Troops. The National Guard is made up of local people who are from and live in that area. It isn't quite the same as using Federal Troops, but it is bad enough to spark the racial tensions that exist in Birmingham into something far more explosive.
However, you do bring up a very valuable point...What do the States do when the Municipalities are financially unable to pay their Police to Maintain the Peace? What can they do other than call out the National Guard? And what happens when the States are unable to financially pay to Maintain the Peace? I've said it before on other threads and I'll say it here again...there is a big difference between a Local Civilian Agency that is accountable to a Local Body of Elected Representatives and a National Military that is is accountable to only their Chain of Command. Hope this isn't a sign of the times.
S&F for you, OP!