MONTGOMERY (AP) — Alabama's governor and a legislative leader have compromised on how to consolidate the state's law enforcement divisions.
Gov. Robert Bentley and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh had offered different plans to improve the efficiency of Alabama's more than 20 law enforcement programs, but they announced an agreement on a bill Tuesday, the opening day of the legislative session.
The bill, sponsored by Marsh, R-Anniston, would reorganize the programs into a Cabinet-level agency called the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency. It would have two units. One, called the Department of Public Safety, would include major portions of the existing Department of Public Safety, the Marine Police, and law enforcement units from the Public Service Commission and the Revenue Department.
The other, called the State Bureau of Investigations, would include the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, and law enforcement units from the state liquor agency, the Forestry Commission and the Agriculture Department.
The secretary of the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency would serve as the governor's homeland security adviser, and functions of the state Department of Homeland Security would be transferred to the secretary's office.
Spencer Collier, director of Homeland Security and the governor's senior law enforcement adviser, said the legislation will result in better law enforcement response for Alabama citizens.
The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee is scheduled to consider the bill Wednesday.
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