Tuscaloosa Police, City Council express concern over Strip, loud parties
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson
For the past two weeks, the Tuscaloosa Police Department has increased its presence on the Strip just off the University of Alabama campus. Their goal? Keeping the community and businesses safe.
TPD Chief Brent Blankley said the amount of manpower going into the Strip taking police away from other areas in need and is taking a toll on police officers who are already working long days and a lot of overtime.
“Our officers have extremely long workdays, especially on game days, but then on other Fridays we’re putting officers on the Strip to make it safe and that’s wearing our officers down,” Blankley said. “These officers are dedicated to the city of Tuscaloosa and to keeping people safe. They know the end result but it’s hard for them.”
Blankley said Tuscaloosa Mayor Maddox and the City Council are looking at ways they can make the Strip safer without leaving other areas vulnerable.
“Everybody across Tuscaloosa deserves the same treatment,” Blankley said. “We are having to put a lot of officers down on the Strip that could go to other areas and increase security.
Additional patrols in the area will continue through the next two weeks, Blankly said. After that, TPD will re-evaluate.
The area encompassing and surrounding the University of Alabama and much of downtown is within the city’s District 4, represented by Tuscaloosa City Council Member Lee Busby.
Busby said he’s been fielding complaints from residents who are concerned about loud music and other noise emanating from fraternity houses and residential homes on and near campus.
“I mean 10 or 12 blocks away people’s windows are vibrating,” Busby said. “We are getting complaints all the way across from 15th Street out of Forest Lake, and we are getting them from downtown.”
Loud music and parties are a fact of life when you live in a college town, Busby said, but it’s a problem when residents miles away from the source say they’ve got a problem.