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Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith Resigns; Interim Named

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Patrick Smith, left; Scott Thurmond

The Birmingham Times

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith has resigned to focus on personal matters, according to the city. On Friday, Mayor Randall L. Woodfin appointed Captain Scott Thurmond as Acting Birmingham Chief of Police.

Smith’s resignation is effective Feb. 25. That date “will allow me the opportunity to conclude some personal business [and] allow for a smooth transition with the Acting/Interim Chief,” Smith wrote in his resignation letter to the mayor.

“I am grateful for the service of former Chief Smith,” Woodfin said. “Under his leadership, [Smith] led the launch of the Real Time Crime Center; increased the number of police academies annually to assist in recruiting; shifted to a four-day, 10-hour work week for officers; and established crime control meetings to analyze and assess major crime activities per precinct.”

Thurmond is a 23-year veteran with the Birmingham Police Department. Under his leadership in 2020, the West Precinct launched a special task force that successfully removed five to 10 guns off the streets each week and focused on high engagement and follow up on cases. As a result, residents saw a 25 percent reduction in crime in the West Precinct.

“I have every confidence in the leadership of Acting Chief Thurmond,” said Woodfin. “He has a history of innovation, strength and humility. Acting Chief Thurmond will be a bridgebuilder for our residents and police force. He is the right man to help keep our community safe.”

“I am honored,” said the 47-year-old Thurmond,a University of Montevallo graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in political science. “I know there will be challenges, but I am excited and ready to serve. As a department, we are committed to providing the high level of services our community members expect and deserve.”

Thurmond began his career in the patrol division at the North Precinct where he served the Titusville and Smithfield communities from 1999-2005 as patrolman and Field Training Officer. In 2007, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the West Precinct Morning Shift in the patrol division.

In 2008, Thurmond was transferred to the Homicide Unit in the Investigative Bureau and worked there as a sergeant until 2013 when he was then promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. In 2015, Thurmond returned to the Homicide Unit as the commander and in 2018, became the Interim Commander of the newly formed Robbery/Homicide Division which consists of seven individual units: Homicide Unit, Felony Assault Unit, Robbery Unit, Crime Reduction Team (CRT), Project ICE, Intelligence Unit, and the Sex Offender Unit.

In 2019, Thurmond was promoted to the rank of Captain and served as the West Precinct Commander in the Patrol Bureau. Most recently, he served as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of the Investigative Bureau.

Updated at 1:43 p.m. on 1/28/2022 with comment from Smith’s resignation letter.