SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) — Big changes are on the way to the city of Saraland, Alabama.

Starting in 2024, the fire and police departments will no longer serve areas outside city limits.

Photo of Saraland firetruck

Saraland Mayor Dr. Howard Rubenstein said the decision to only serve areas within the city was a unanimous decision by the city council. He said that the changes take effect on January 1, 2024.

Photo of Saraland Ordinance 1250

Written in ordinance 1250, the city of Saraland explains it looked at the option to pull back emergency services from a financial standpoint. The City’s Mayor, Dr. Howard Rubenstein said that the City was spending more money than they were getting in revenue to cover the areas in the police jurisdiction.

“We’re probably going to be saving about $200,000 a year,” said Dr. Rubenstein.

The change is due to part of the state of Alabama’s Code that allows municipalities to eliminate police jurisdiction outside corporate limits.

“The law is actually encouraging cities to pull back their jurisdictions. It also will pull back on the amount of jurisdiction every city can have,” said Dr. Rubenstein.

Photo of Saraland City outline from October 2022

The Mayor expects that a couple of thousand people will be impacted by this change, but there is a way that people can retain the City’s emergency services.

He said, “Saraland pursues a policy of voluntary annexation, so each homeowner, each business owner has the right to decide if they want to become part of our city, or just remain in the county.”

Anyone interested in keeping the same emergency services can petition to annex their property into Saraland. The only catch is that the property in question has to touch the City limits.

Dr. Rubenstein said, “Contact our building department. Call Saraland – ask for the Saraland building department. They’ll give you all the information you need to file an application to annex into the city.”

The change takes effect on January 1, 2024. In the meantime, Saraland’s mayor said that the City is working with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, 9-1-1, and fire departments to make sure it’s a smooth transition.