UAPD and TPD to operate joint precinct on the Strip

Raelee Sents, Staff Reporter

The University of Alabama Police Department and the Tuscaloosa Police Department have opened a joint precinct on the corner of University Boulevard and Campus Drive. The University announced the new partnership on Feb 17. 

This location has remained vacant since the closure of Mooyah Burgers, Shakes, and Fries in 2019. 

The opening of the joint precinct is following the University’s and the City of Tuscaloosa’s efforts of enhancing safety around campus.  

“This precinct location is in a temporary location and will soon relocate to a space directly on the Strip” according to the University News Center announcement. 

The Strip is a popular night life location for students, and the University News Center said there will be additional patrols on the Strip “with a special emphasis on peak hours of business and activity.” 

The Crimson White contacted Shane Dorrill, assistant director of communications, on Feb. 22 asking if the opening of this location was due to the recent shooting events on the Strip. Dorrill referred to The CW to the University News Center announcement. 

With regards to the joint precinct, “the safety and well-being of our students and our community is our top priority” said UA President Stuart Bell, in the UA News Center article.  

The Strip “has become a growing concern during the last few years” said Stephanie Taylor, public relations specialist for TPD. “It has become more crowded on weekend nights, and we have unfortunately had incidents that put people in danger.” 

For several years, Taylor said, officers have been assigned to “Strip Details” on Thursday-Sunday nights, and the number of officers assigned to this position has increased in recent weeks.  

“[Officers are] assigned to conduct foot patrols of that area only. They respond to incidents when necessary, but spend most of their time walking the area and looking out for any troubling behavior that could escalate,” Taylor said.  

“Having a precinct there will hopefully increase awareness that people can always find an officer when they need one,” Taylor said. 

Taylor said the precinct also gives officers a convenient space to do paperwork so they can quickly get back to patrolling the area. 

Taylor did not know when the joint precinct will open.