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franklin county times

Jessica Clements serves as first female PC chief

A native of Cherokee Jessica Clements is the first female police chief in Phil Campbell. It’s not an achievement that fazes her.

“I honestly don’t think about it,” said Clements. “We all have a job to do, and my officers and I work hard to perform our duties to the best of our abilities.”

An officer since 2007, she has been the police chief in Phil Campbell for seven months. She began her career in law enforcement as a reserve officer with the Russellville Police Department while attending the University of North Alabama.

Clements said her desire to be in law enforcement started when she was about 5 years old. “My younger brother and I had gotten lost in the woods and were rescued by two relatives, one of whom was a deputy for the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department,” said Clements. “The rescue, along with him always having great stories to tell us, is what made me want to be in law enforcement.”

Upon graduating from college, she served as a full-time patrol officer for about five years before becoming a sergeant.

After six years at the Russellville Police Department, local state troopers suggested she join their ranks. “I worked as a state trooper for a little over three years,” said Clements, “but I came to realize I would be happier in a small town.”

Upon learning there was an opening for a full-time officer in Phil Campbell, she applied for the role and started at Phil Campbell. When the former police chief, Joe Fike, left for a different job in spring 2021, she made up her mind to try for the position. “I, along with seven others, went through two rounds of interviews before a decision was made by the mayor and city council.”

She’s been in the chief’s chair since June, after serving as the interim chief in the intervening months.

Clements said her plans for the police department include expanding department resources, addressing organizational and structural needs, making the department more community-oriented and initiating a school drug prevention program.

When not at work, Clements said she enjoys spending time with her family. “My husband and I have two amazing little boys, a 7-year-old and a 10-month-old,” said Clements. “I’m very proud of my husband. He’s the middle school band director for Russellville City Schools.”

“I love that Phil Campbell is such a small town,” Clements added. “I’ve really enjoyed getting out and meeting the citizens and learning what they think could help our community.”

Clements said success in the role is all about treating people the way you want to be treated. “I have some of the best officers in Alabama working here, and they are greatly appreciated,” she said. “We will continue doing our best to make Phil Campbell even better.”

Phil Campbell Mayor Mike McQuary praised the job Clements has done thus far.

“Chief Clements has done an outstanding job for our police department,” he said. “She’s going to implement drug prevention programs in the schools, she’s getting our police department built back up, and she’s enforcing a lot of our ordinances that have been let go for years. She’s doing a really good job and is a big benefit for our community.”