Jemison chief proud of first year
By Ben Flanagan
Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer is proud of his department’s first year on the job.
Last February, the city council named Fulmer police chief, and he’s done his best to fill that role as professionally as he possibly can.
Thanks to the support of an efficient staff and a welcoming community, Fulmer’s job has been made easier, he says.
“We’ve got a great group of officers, in my opinion,” Fulmer said. “The citizens have been really receptive and supportive. We have an outstanding mayor and city council to work with and work for. Everything’s great.”
In his first year, the community has welcomed Fulmer with open arms by working closely with him to keep Jemison safe, he said. He said the department has a solid relationship with the city schools.
“We’ve been welcomed and accepted by the schools here on a daily basis,” he said. “We work closely with them by participating in disaster and fire lockdown drills. It’s a good relationship.”
He’s happy he can personally help and talk with the citizens every day when they need it.
Fulmer and his department have seen a rise in technological innovations in police work that requires sudden and swift adjustments.
He said his officers continue to answer that call as they learn new law enforcement techniques.
“I’m so glad to see officers work as hard as they do,” he said. “That makes you proud of who you’ve got working for you and how they do their jobs. I’m proud of our being able to maintain and keep up with today’s technology demands with little or no cost to the taxpayers.”
Fulmer said the Jemison department is roughly 75 percent committed to electronic police reporting.
Most of it is done by e-mail or on other computer databases.
Currently working with a staff of 10 full-time officers, Fulmer is quite fond of those who surround him in the office and serve the city of Jemison.
“We’ve been able to recruit some really good officers that I think have been assets to the city,” he said. “We’ve also done a good job with recruiting potential officers for the future in our reserve program.”
In addition to his father and grandfather, Chief Fulmer’s family includes several others who serve as law enforcement officers.
His brother, Billy, is an Alabama State Trooper as is a cousin, and an uncle serves as a deputy sheriff in Dallas County. Fulmer takes a particular pride in continuing that family tradition of law enforcement that involves treating people respectfully.
“Police work isn’t the only family tradition,” he said. “It’s also about doing it with integrity and honesty. It’s about treating people the way they should be treated and doing what’s right.”
One challenge he’s seen this past year is stepping away from what he calls “on the beat” street policing and transitioning into full-time administrative work. But even if he doesn’t get the hands-on experience he had years before, he’s accepted that new responsibility with open arms.
“The administrative aspect to this job is crucial in ensuring the department is run like it should be,” he said. “It’s my job to ensure the officers are well-trained and that they continue with their training. Really and truly, every aspect of the job has been a great opportunity for me. I’ve enjoyed every day and minute of it.”
Fulmer said the responsibilities and demands of a police chief are astronomical, especially if you want the right kind of results. He insists he inherited a strong department, then with nine full-time officers, but they have worked hard to embrace and understand the technological breakthroughs in how they perform nearly every day.
His staff has answered that call with conviction, he said.
“We’ve got a great group of officers, men and women,” he said. “They really listen well. They’re receptive about getting the training they need. Jemison should be proud of them. They act professionally, and I’m here every single day to ensure it stays that way.”
In the future, Fulmer, said he’d like to add a few more officers to the department.
“I would love to have at least two officers on shift for 24 hours per day and seven days a week,” he said. “Whether or not that happens will have a lot to do with population growth and economic development.”
If the budget ever allowed it, he would also like to add two traffic homicide officers to the staff to work on traffic accidents resulting in death thanks to recklessness. Ideally, he would have two existing Jemison officers make the transition into that role.
“I’m just glad to be in a position where I can personally serve the people and ensure the whole department does its part in serving the people in a professional way,” Fulmer said.
In October 2007, he joined the Jemison Police Department as a patrolman and was promoted to assistant chief and investigator in June 2008.
Fulmer was named interim chief at Jemison when former chief Brian Stilwell became police chief in Clanton in December 2008.
He graduated from Selma High School and enrolled in the Alabama Police Officers’ Training Program at the University of Alabama. He also earned a criminal justice degree from Virginia College and has attended many law enforcement programs and conferences.
Chief Fulmer left Maplesville’s Police Department in 1995 to become a patrol officer for the city of Clanton. In 1999, he joined the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department as its narcotics investigator. Later he became the sheriff’s department’s chief investigator before coming to Jemison.
Fulmer and his wife, Angela, are the parents of three children, Hailey, Collin and Allie. His wife is a certified court reporter.