Fairfield Police Chief says proposal to cut department is a "sla - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Fairfield Police Chief says proposal to cut department is a "slap in the face"

Chief Leon Davis. Source: WBRC video Chief Leon Davis. Source: WBRC video

The City of Fairfield's police chief is speaking out after one council member proposed doing away with the Fairfield Police Department.

Fairfield Police Chief Leon Davis has spent the past 23 years serving and protecting Fairfield, and sums up very quickly how he felt when Council Member Willie Hardley suggested firing the department.

"Even the suggestion of terminating this department was a slap in the face to a lot of these guys and ladies who put their lives on the line daily for this city," said Chief Davis.

The suggestion came after Hardely felt he wasn't getting answers from the Mayor or the police about a recent case involving city property, and other recent burglaries.

"In terms of what they've solved were not hearing anything, reports nothing," said Hardley.

However, the Chief isn't supposed to report to the council he reports to the mayor.

"Me and the mayor have an open line of communication. We speak maybe once or twice a daily. Even during the weekend we speak on things that are happening," said Davis. "I think that one of the biggest problems is that some council members want to have authority, directive, the approval from the mayor to give us directives which the mayor is not going to do. and he's instructed us we're not to take directives from the council. He is our immediate supervisor who we answer to."

Hardley says those conversations between the mayor and the chief should be relayed to council.

Davis says burglaries and thefts are down 30-40 percent in Fairfield, and his department is under staffed by 30 officers.

"Since this council has taken office and Mr. Hardley was named Chairman of Public Safety, I have not met with him, he has not asked me what does the police department need, he has not questioned me as to what we can do to make this police department strong, there has been no communication between us as far as what we can do to improve public safety," Davis said.

Hardley tells me he never actually spoke to the Sheriff's office about the possibility of them taking over Fairfield's jurisdiction.

"I hate that it had to get to this point but I just wanted to get their attention. I wanted the mayors attention so I'm hoping we got his attention to do something," said Hardley.

Tuesday night the council had a planned special meeting to discuss an ongoing investigation about the theft of some city property. That meeting was cancelled because not enough council members were in attendance. FOX 6 has learned that one absent council member, Primuse Mack, was unable to attend because he was behind bars in the Jefferson County Jail in Bessemer. Mack is charged with enticing a minor.

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