Tuscaloosa Police and City Council express concern over Strip and loud parties
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson
Over the past two weeks, the Tuscaloosa Police Department has increased its presence on the Strip right next to the University of Alabama campus. Their objective? Ensure the safety of the community and businesses.
TPD chief Brent Blankley said the amount of labor entering the Gaza Strip was driving police away from other areas in need and negatively impacting police officers who were already working long days and many hours of overtime.
“Our agents have extremely long shifts, especially on game days, but on other Fridays we put agents on the Strip to make it safe and that tires our agents,” Blankley said. “These officers are dedicated to the city of Tuscaloosa and the safety of people. They know the end result but it is difficult for them.
Blankley said Tuscaloosa Mayor Maddox and city council are looking for ways to make the strip safer without leaving other areas vulnerable.
“Everyone in Tuscaloosa deserves the same treatment,” Blankley said. “We have to send a lot of officers to the strip who could go to other areas and increase security.
Additional patrols in the area will continue over the next two weeks, Blankly said. After that, TPD will reassess.
The area encompassing and surrounding the University of Alabama and much of downtown is in District 4 of the city, represented by Lee Busby, member of Tuscaloosa City Council.
Busby said he had received complaints from residents concerned about loud music and other noises emanating from fraternity houses and residential houses on and near campus.
“I mean 10 or 12 blocks away, people’s windows are vibrating,” Busby said. “We get complaints across 15th Street in Forest Lake and we get them from downtown. “
Loud music and parties are a reality when you live in a college town, Busby said, but it’s a problem when residents miles from the source say they have a problem.