Police officers and community leaders from across Jefferson County gathered Thursday at a retirement celebration for Midfield Police Chief Frank Belcher.
Belcher’s last day on the job was Wednesday. He will now become a lieutenant at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office with his longtime friend Sheriff Mark Pettway. Belcher, 52, said it is with mixed emotions that he leaves his chief job.
“I’m leaving family,’’ he said.
Belcher, who has his law degree from the Birmingham School of Law, began his law enforcement career at the Fairfield Police Department in 1990. In 2000, he transferred to the Midfield Police Department. Nine years ago, he was made acting chief, which later became permanent.
His retirement celebration was held Thursday at the Dr. Perry W. Ward Technology Building on the campus of Lawson State. Ward, Midfield Mayor Gary Richardson and Belcher’s wife, Adrienne Ward Belcher, were among those who spoke and lauded Belcher’s legacy.
Belcher said what he will remember most about his time in Fairfield and Midfield is working as a DARE officer and serving the community as a whole.
He and the sheriff worked together at the Fairfield Police Department and he said Pettway has long told him that if he won the election, he wanted Belcher to join him at the sheriff’s office.
“It’s not retirement,’’ Belcher said. “It’s more of a transition.”
Richardson has not yet named a new Midfield Police Chief.