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Code of Alabama - Title 31: Military Affairs and Civil Defense - Section 31-9-10 - Local emergency management organizations; emergency powers of political subdivisions

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Section 31-9-10 - Local emergency management organizations; emergency powers of political subdivisions.

(a) Each political subdivision of this state is hereby authorized and directed to establish a local organization for emergency management in accordance with the state emergency management plan and program and may confer or authorize the conferring, upon members of the auxiliary police, the powers of peace officers, subject to such restrictions as shall be imposed. The governing body of the political subdivision is authorized to appoint a director, who shall have direct responsibility for the organization, administration, and operation of such local organization for emergency management, subject to the direction and control of such governing body. Each local organization for emergency management shall perform emergency management functions within the territorial limits of the political subdivision within which it is organized, and, in addition, shall conduct such functions outside of such territorial limits as may be required pursuant to the provisions of this article.

(b) The governing body of each political subdivision shall have the power and authority:

(1) To appropriate and expend funds, make contracts, obtain, and distribute equipment, materials, and supplies for emergency management purposes; to provide for the health and safety of persons and property, including emergency assistance to the victims of any disaster; and to direct and coordinate the development of emergency management plans and programs in accordance with the policies and plans set by the federal and state emergency management agencies.

(2) To appoint, employ, remove, or provide, with or without compensation, air raid wardens, rescue teams, auxiliary fire and police personnel, and other emergency management workers; provided, that compensated employees shall be subject to any existing civil service or Merit System laws.

(3) To establish a primary and one or more secondary control centers to serve as command posts during an emergency.

(4) To assign and make available for duty the employees, property, or equipment of the subdivision relating to fire fighting, engineering, rescue, health, medical and related service, police, transportation, construction, and similar items or services for emergency management purposes, within or outside of the physical limits of the subdivision.

(5) In the event that the governing body of the political subdivision determines that any of the conditions described in Section 31-9-2(a) has occurred or is imminently likely to occur, the governing body shall have the power:

a. To waive procedure and formalities otherwise required by law pertaining to the performance of public work, entering into contracts, the incurring of obligations, the employment of temporary workers, the utilization of volunteer workers, the rental of equipment, the purchase and distribution with or without compensation of supplies, materials, and facilities, and the appropriation and expenditure of public funds.

b. To impose a public safety curfew for its inhabitants. If a public safety curfew is imposed as authorized herein, it shall be enforced by the appropriate law enforcement agency within the political subdivision. A public safety curfew imposed under this subsection shall not apply to employees of utilities, cable, and telecommunications companies and their contractors engaged in activities necessary to maintain or restore utility, cable, and telecommunications services or to official emergency management personnel engaged in emergency management activities.

(6) To close, notwithstanding Section 11-1-8, any and all public buildings owned or leased by and under the control of the political subdivision where emergency conditions warrant, whether or not a local state of emergency has been declared by the governing body of the political subdivision. In the event that any documents required to be filed by a time certain deadline cannot be filed in a timely manner due to the closing of an office under this subdivision, the deadline for filing shall be extended to the date that the office is reopened as provided in Section 1-1-4.

(c) No local governing body of a political subdivision shall have the authority to provide for and compel evacuation of the area except by the direction and under the supervision of the Governor or the State Emergency Management Agency, or both. Any action taken by the governing body of the political subdivision shall remain in full force and effect unless revoked by proclamation of the Governor, issued as provided in Section 31-9-8.

(d)(1) Nothing in this section shall authorize the seizure or confiscation of any firearm or ammunition from any individual who is lawfully carrying or possessing the firearm or ammunition except as provided in subdivision (2).

(2) A law enforcement officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer's official duties may disarm an individual if the officer reasonably believes that it is immediately necessary for the protection of the officer or another individual. The officer shall return the firearm to the individual before discharging that individual unless the officer arrests that individual for engaging in criminal activity or seizes the firearm as evidence pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime or, at the discretion of the officer, the individual poses a threat to himself or herself or to others.

(Acts 1955, No. 47, p. 267, §10; Act 2006-522, p. 1210, §1; Act 2009-572, p. 1679, §1.)
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Last modified: March 18, 2014