Southside’s police chief resigns

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Chief Blake Ragsdale announced on Facebook Saturday that he was stepping down and his last day would be Monday.

This announcement led to some controversy on social media. His wife said he was not retiring and that he’d lost his job, and they were devastated.

Even the former Mayor Wally Burns says the chief was asked to resign.

The current Mayor, Dana Snyder, shared a post Tuesday saying this was an unexpected turn of events over the weekend.

She says they had an in-depth conversation about the department’s future, and Ragsdale expressed his desire to step down.

They both decided that Captain Jay Freeman was the best choice to serve as Interim Chief.

Freeman was recently chosen as the new Police Chief at Gadsden State. He shared this statement with WBRC:

“On May 26, I publicly announced that I had accepted the role of Chief of Police at Gadsden State. I want to reassure everyone that I am fully committed to fulfilling my duties and responsibilities in this position starting in early July. I feel fortunate to be a member of the Southside police department, which I consider the highlight of my career.

Our department is made up of highly skilled law enforcement professionals who are dedicated to protecting our community. We are grateful for the support from our community’s citizens and business leaders who have reached out to us and offered prayers for our city during this time. Your kind words have been a great source of encouragement for our employees.

Chief Ragsdale asked me to serve as the Interim Chief of Police, and I am fully committed to fulfilling this request until a permanent Chief is selected for our city.

The Mayor granted me the position at Chief Blake Ragsdale’s request, and I understood our department was in the middle of uncertainty. But the hardworking men and women of the Southside Police Department never wavered in their dedication, displaying professionalism and commitment. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of such an amazing organization and would stand by them in any battle, anywhere, and at any time without hesitation.

I sincerely thank Dr. Murphy and her dedicated team for their unwavering support during this transitional period. I eagerly look forward to assuming my new role as Chief of Gadsden State, establishing and leading a police department toward greatness.

As we embark on this new journey, I humbly ask for your support and blessings. May God bless you all, and may God bless our beloved community.”

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