Wounded Birmingham police officer plans to return to the streets

What's next for injured officer?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Birmingham police officer shot five to seven times last week and recovering his wounds still plans to return to the streets to help curb gun violence.

Officer Cullen Stafford’s dedication has impressed many city leaders. Many at city hall said this is just an example of the type of officer who works to defend people here in Birmingham every day.

Monday night, Gerald Swindle - a professional bass angler from Hayden - visited Stafford. The officer is known to love fishing.

Last week, Stafford had a bullet removed from his jaw. His mouth was wired shut. Yet during a private meeting with Chief Patrick Smith in his hospital room, Stafford with his mouth wired told Smith he wanted to return to the streets once he recovered.

Stafford turned down a detective’s position, number one on the list of candidates to continue to patrol the streets.

This left Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin impressed. “For me to walk into his hospital room at least two days later, he gave me a thumbs up and squeezed my hand. He can do whatever he wants as far as I’m concerned. I will back him 100 percent,” Woodfin said.

The head of the city council’s Public Safety Committee said it’s another example of the type of officers patrolling Birmingham. “I think it goes to show all the sacrifice all the men and women of Birmingham Police make on a daily basis to protect the citizens of Birmingham,” Hunter Williams said.

WBRC FOX6 News was told by police officials Officer Stafford told the chief of his plans outside of his parents. Stafford’s mother is said to not be too happy about his turning down the detective’s job in the past.

The latest word is Officer Stafford is continuing to recover from his wounds.

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