Fairfield Police Department
The Fairfield Police Department is a law enforcement agency that serves the City of Fairfield. The Fairfield Police and Court Department shares the former Baker School at 5231 Court B with Fairfield Fire Station No. 1.
The Police Department was established when the city was first incorporated in 1919.
In 1940 two African-American men were shot and killed while in the custody of Fairfield police. Fairfield Tin Mill worker O. D. Henderson was beaten and shot after he reportedly knocked down a white worker outside the mill's office. A few weeks later, John Jackson was arrested when police responded to a complaint that a line of black theatergoers was blocking the entrance to a nearby shop. He was also shot and killed.
Fairfield has lost three officers in the line of duty. W. H. Coleman was killed on September 9, 1925. Myron Massey was shot to death on August 8, 1985. In 2006 Officer Mary Smith was shot to death while investigating a suspicious vehicle in the Vinesville neighborhood. Demetrius Jackson Jr was convicted of capital murder.
In July 2015 Roy Hunter, a custodian who worked at the department headquarters, was arrested for trafficking in firearms stolen from the police evidence room. He admitted the theft and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.
Fairfield's tax revenues were crippled in 2015-2016 with the shutdown of U.S. Steel's Fairfield Works blast furnace and the closure of the city's Wal-Mart Supercenter. On March 11, 2016 the Fairfield City Council voted 4-0 in a special called meeting to disband the city's police department and seek law enforcement services from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. Then Chief Leon Davis objected that the meeting was given with little notice and had concluded before its advertised start. Mayor Kenneth Coachman overruled the vote on the grounds that the department was his responsibility. Nevertheless, many of the department's investigative functions were turned over to the county.
In 2019 the City Council again approved an agreement for the Sheriff's Office to take over patrol duties. Most patrol officers were expected to transfer to the Sheriff's Department, with some staff remaining on the city payroll to handle administrative duties such as code enforcement.
In 2021 Fairfield was awarded a $241,136 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program.
- Betty Gamble, 1999-2005
- Pat Mardis, 2005-April 2011
- Leon Davis, April 2011-May 1, 2016
- Nick Dyer (acting), May 1, 2016-September 2019
- Nick Dyer, January 2023
- Julius Hunter, January 2023
- Robinson, Carol (March 11, 2016) "Fiscally strapped Fairfield votes to disband police department." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (October 3, 2016) "Former police department janitor, 70, admits to smuggling, selling guns from evidence room." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (September 26, 2019) "Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to take over 100-year-old Fairfield Police Department." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (September 27, 2019) "Few details released as Jefferson County prepares to police Fairfield." The Birmingham News
- Harrell, Sumner (November 18, 2021) "City of Fairfield receives over $240,000 to help with police staffing." abc3340.com
- Fairfield Police Department at cityoffairfieldal.org