Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday signed an executive order creating the Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force, which will look for ways to increase efficiencies in state-level law enforcement agencies.
Currently, 22 state-level agencies have various law enforcement functions. By examining those functions and looking for ways to streamline operations, the Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force can help reduce duplications of services and increase government efficiency while strengthening public safety. The work of the task force will improve public safety by making sure agencies are coordinating efforts more closely, sharing information, and consistently working in a collaborative manner.
The Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force will thoroughly evaluate the missions, functions, services, and tasks of various agencies and will make recommendations to the Governor on increased efficiencies that can be implemented.
"Our top priority in any decision that we make will be public safety," Governor Bentley said. "This is about making sure our agencies are working hand-in-hand with each other. Through better coordination and increased efficiency, I believe we can provide better public safety. These efforts will help us make the best use of the resources we have and will also help us better serve the people of this state."
The Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force will work to identify at least 10 percent in cost savings in law enforcement functions of state agencies. The task force will include cabinet members with law enforcement responsibilities, particularly Spencer Collier, Director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, and Colonel Hugh McCall, Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
"To my knowledge, Governor Bentley is the first Alabama governor to take action of this nature by ordering a comprehensive review of the state's law enforcement resources and capabilities," Director Collier said. "We have been given a clear directive to act as good stewards of the taxpayers' dollars by examining the most efficient, effective, and modern ways to protect the citizens of Alabama. I am excited to be a part of this."
"Governor Bentley can count on the Department of Public Safety to fully support his efforts to ensure efficiency in state government," Colonel McCall said. "In these challenging economic times, we all must make sure we maximize resources while protecting public safety. Much can be accomplished when we work together."
Task force members will meet regularly to gain a solid understanding of various functions within certain agencies and departments. Members will work closely with various stakeholders to ensure that any and all recommendations are made in the interest of greater efficiency and strong public safety. The work of the task force is expected to lead to future legislation that will help the state implement goals identified by the task force.
"We have no choice but to rethink state government operations in order to maximize taxpayer resources," Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said. "Our goal is always to provide better, more cost-effective and efficient services to Alabamians, and this plan is a big step in the right direction. I appreciate Governor Bentley's willingness to champion efforts to streamline state government and look forward to working with Lieutenant Governor Ivey, Speaker Hubbard and members of the Legislature to enact these plans."
Governor Bentley's executive order also establishes the Law Enforcement Stakeholder Advisory Task Force. The task force will consist of members identified by legislative leadership, the Alabama Sheriffs Association, the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police, a designee of the Governor's Office, and Jackie Graham, Director of the Alabama State Personnel Department (or her designee).
Additional cabinet members who will serve on the Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force include Gunter Guy, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Jim Ridling, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Insurance; Julie Magee, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Revenue; and Mac Gipson, Administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.