Ala. City to Cut Police Services at School Athletic Events

Birmingham City Schools in Alabama has been told the city will no longer provide free police services at athletic events. District administrators say the decision has devastating budgetary consequences.

Birmingham, Alabama officials have decided to stop offering free police protection at the city’s school sporting events and district officials are upset.

Birmingham City Schools administrators are asking the city to reconsider its plan to cancel the free police it offers for middle and high school sporting events, according to City officials said the decision was a response to rising overtime costs for the police department.

But Interim Superintendent Spencer Horn said high school games cost over $800,000 annually while only generating $256,000 in revenue. In a letter to Birmingham Mayor William Bell the superintendent said cutting the police services would push the high school’s athletic costs to over $1.3 million annually. None of Horn’s numbers factored in middle school athletic events. The district has 42 schools including eight middle schools, eight K-8 schools and seven high schools.

The Birmingham City Council is just beginning discussions on the city’s $404 million spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

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