By Hannah Caver, Staff Writer
LEEDS — Leeds Police Department swore in a new police chief on Monday, December 20.
Paul Irwin, who previously was the Pell City Police Department Chief, will take over. Judge James E. Hill swore Irwin into officer during the ceremony last night.
“I grew up in Leeds, went to school at Leeds for 10 years,” Irwin said. “I went to moody for my last two years, so I graduated from moody.”
After graduating high school, Irwin joined the Marine Corps and then worked for the Birmingham Police Department for 23 years before returning as a captain in 2017.
From a young age, Irwin knew he wanted to join the military because most of his family were marines or police officers.
“I graduated from Jefferson State Community College, The University of Alabama in Birmingham, and I have a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law,” Irwin said. “I have practiced law since 2004.”
Irwin is a graduate of the FBI National Academy 266 session and is the current vice president of the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police. He has been married for almost 25 years and has four children, two daughters and two sons.
“I have a son who’s 14 that goes to Victory Christian, and I have a daughter that’s 18 that graduated from Trussville and is in her first year of Jefferson State,” Irwin said. “I have a son that’s 24, and he’s in his last year at the University of Alabama School of Law, he graduates in May, and I have a daughter who’s 30, and she does hair.”
Irwin said he’s as honored that he was selected for this position, and as Leeds Police Chief, he plans to be more interactive with the community.
“I want to do the best job that I possibly can,” Irwin said. “I’m going to do everything I can to bring people to justice in Leeds. I’m coming here not only to bring our police department to a different level and to make us more of a community-oriented police department, but I’m also coming to Leeds to bring justice to people who are committing wrongdoings.”
He would like the police department to focus more on the D.A.R.E. program in schools and implement more department training.
“We’re going to bring officer development,” Irwin said. “We’re going to bring the training as far as making people specialized in different techniques, bring more internal instructors, and bring forward a lot of plans to interact with the community.”
Irwin said he appreciates everyone that supported him in this transition and that he’s happy to be back home in Leeds.
“I feel like I have a lot of support and a lot of personnel in the Leeds Police Department that wanted me to come here, and some of them didn’t even know me,” Irwin said.