Midfield Police Department

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The Midfield Police Department is the public safety and law enforcement arm of the City of Midfield.

The department was founded as a volunteer force shortly after the city was incorporated in 1953. with a temporary station behind Williams Hardware. Steelworker Curt Kuykendall volunteered as chief initially, with Henry Holmes succeeding him as the first paid chief.

In 1955 James W. Morris took over as chief and kept an office at Midfield City Hall while operations moved into a renovated building on the opposite corner of Woodward Road and Midfield Street. At that time that force consisted of 4 full-time trained officers and a warden supervising the 6-bunk Midfield City Jail. Morris soon expanded his force into a combined police and firefighting department, using the same trained officers to cover shifts and supplementing them with volunteer firefighters when the need arose. An automated telephone system alerted all officers and volunteers of emergencies. By 1968 the department maintained a fleet of two fire trucks, two police patrol cars and a motorcycle. One of the two police cars was replaced each year.

When Midfield was brought under the Personnel Board of Jefferson County in 1971, the city was forced hire police officers separately from firefighters. Morris continued to lead both departments as Midfield's Public Safety Director. When a new City Hall was completed, the older building was converted into a new police and fire station. In 1979 the city made the Midfield Fire Department a separate entity and hired a new full-time fire chief. Morris stayed on as chief of police. The department moved to another new City Hall, in the former Alabama State Highway Patrol station on Bessemer Highway, in 1981.

In 1983 Midfield decided to re-combine their police and fire departments under one Midfield Department of Public Safety. Morris resumed leadership of the combined department until his retirement on September 30, 1989. At that time, police and firefighting functions were again divided into separate departments.

Dudley had served only a year as chief after the retirement of Ron White. At the time, the city was contemplating dissolving its police force and becoming part of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office jurisdiction. Dudley had already applied for a transfer to the Hueytown Police Department when Midfield mayor Gary Richardson convinced him to stay on as chief.



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