TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Tuscaloosa City Council is proposing a moratorium on new bars due to a shortage of city police officers.
Tuscaloosa Police Department is down 34 officers and has 290 sworn officers on duty. City Council President Kip Tyner says a moratorium is just in the discussion phase to see what can be done to handle this problem.
“We’ve been so overwhelmed and right now with our numbers still down with our police department and the numbers that seem to go up as far as businesses trying to find new ways to increase capacity,” Tyner said. “We have parking lot issues after places close, it just put a terrible strain on our police department.”
Assistant Police Chief Heath Clark agrees with Tyner and says something must be done, as too many officers are patrolling downtown bars when neighborhoods in other parts of the city are not getting enough police patrols.
“Many patrons come in from all over to enjoy entertainment at the bars and it is targeting from the hours from 10 p.m. until 3 in the morning,” Clark said. “It’s a time that puts lots of stress on our manpower and our ability to provide other services with neighborhood patrols and other businesses.”
The proposed moratorium is being looked into by the City Attorney’s office. They will present findings later this month to the Public Safety Committee.