Birmingham leaders talk safety, perception at ribbon-cutting for downtown substation

The Birmingham Police Department held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for its downtown substation across from the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper, Mayor William Bell and officials with the BJCC attended the event held near the new entertainment district.

Chief Roper says it is "strategically-located" to fight crime and monitor crowds that attend the BJCC and new entertainment district. The department unveiled its new Skywatch Tower, 17 new patrol bicycles and new vehicles. Roper says it's an effort to continue to make the city safer. Bell agreed security measures were in the planning of all the new features coming to the Magic City.

"We knew then that we were going to invite the world to come to Birmingham and see all the positive things we have going here. But we also knew that we had to commit ourselves to making sure that all of our visitors and all of our citizens were not only safe but have the ability to be safe no matter where they go in our community," Bell says.

As for the status of the entertainment district, BJCC executive director Tad Snider says the district is at 50 percent leased or in build-out. Texas de Brazil is expected to open in a couple of months.