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Scott Thurmond Named Permanent Chief of Birmingham Police

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Scott Thurmond, left, outside Birmingham City Hall after being named permanent Birmingham Police Chief. To his left is Cedric Sparks, chief of staff for Mayor Randall Woodfin. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

By Ryan Michaels

The Birmingham Times

Having proven himself as interim Chief of the Birmingham Police Department (BPD), Scott Thurmond has been appointed chief permanently, Mayor Randall Woodfin said Thursday

The new title is effective June 24.

“Since day one, Chief Thurmond has demonstrated that he is a compassionate leader and an advocate for our officers and residents. There is no need to look any further. He is the right man for the job. He will serve our city well,” said Woodfin in a statement.

Thurmond, who has served as interim chief since January, said he was honored Woodfin “put his trust in me.”

“This was not something that I sought out. I have simply just wanted to serve and protect the great people of Birmingham with excellence and compassion. This platform will allow me to partner with our brave officers in helping to create a safe Birmingham for all. I look forward to serving,” said Thurmond in a statement.

Outside City Hall on Thursday, Thurmond met the media.

“Coming up in the department, through the ranks, knowing the department for 23 years, knowing the personnel, knowing the city of Birmingham . . . a very unique place, a very special place is what you have to know and understand [in this job],” Thurmond said.

Since being interim chief, Thurmond said he has learned more about the bureaucratic side of public safety, including how to “harness some of the inner workings within city government” to get things done.

One of the top priorities for BPD is reduction of homicides which is trending higher than last year, Thurmond said. The department will look at restarting a variety of youth outreach programs, especially for the summer months.

The World Games 2022 which will be held July 7-17 will also take a lot of security on the local level as well and after “a lot of exercises and meetings and preparation,” Birmingham is ready, he said.

Thurmond is a 23-year veteran with the Birmingham Police Department, having served and led in several precincts as well as in executive leadership and a track record for fighting crime.

While Thurmond was commander of the West Precinct in 2020, he launched a special task force that increased the removal of guns off the streets and focused on high engagement and follow-up on cases which led to greater solvability. As a result, residents saw a 25 percent reduction in crime in the West Precinct.

Thurmond has also served in patrol, as a field training officer and previously led the Robbery/Homicide Division which consists of seven individual units: Homicide Unit, Felony Assault Unit, Robbery Unit, Crime Reduction Team, Project ICE, Intelligence Unit and the Sex Offender Unit.

Thurmond’s last position before chief was executive assistant to the deputy chief of the city’s Investigative Bureau.