Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper discusses stepping down after 10 years

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper discusses his decision to step down after a decade on the job.

ABC 33/40's Lauren Walsh interviewed longtime Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper who has decided to step down after 10 years at the helm of the Magic City's police department.

Roper sat down with ABC 33/40 to reflect on his time as chief and talk about what the future holds.

Last week, Roper announced his decision not to reapply for his job under the city's new administration.

He says after a lot of prayer, he decided this was the right moment to hand the baton to someone new.

Roper says over the last ten years, homicide, rape and murder numbers dropped double digit percentages in Birmingham.

We asked Chief Roper to share an experience from his time as chief, that left a lasting impact.

“I would say talking to people, walking these communities, sitting on the porch talking to citizens,” said Roper. “Just a couple days ago, I was on the homicide scene where we had the brother kill the other brother and then commit suicide in front of his mother. I was talking to the neighbors there on the apartment complexes and they began to scream, ‘Chief, I love you.’ And that is so emotional and so touching because that shows that value and that trust between the chief and the community members."

Roper says he will stay on the job a little longer to help with the transition.

His advice to the next police chief:

“Number one, the microphone is always on so you’ve got lead from the front and make sure you lead by example,” said Roper. “Second, you’ve got to show people you care. That’s internally and externally. Officers have to believe you care but those citizens also have to believe you care. Thirdly, I would say take care of yourself. Sharpen the saw because this job is 24 hours a day.”

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