New police chief named by Pelham City Council

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council approved a new police chief, celebrated the last council meeting with Larry Palmer and authorized a pay increase for the Pelham city manager during a council meeting on Monday, March 20.

Mayor Gary Waters announced his appointment of Major Brent Sugg as Pelham’s next Chief of Police during the meeting. The Pelham City Council affirmed the appointment in a unanimous vote.

Sugg will replace former chief Pat Cheatwood, who announced his retirement earlier this year

“We have been going through a series of assessments,” Waters said. “At the end of the assessment, we had a candidate who came out superior. Brent Sugg came out numerically superior.”

In 2019, then-Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Scully appointed Sugg as the 28th Chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. During his tenure as chief, Sugg established operational policies and procedures, created legislation that promoted public safety, incorporated measures to streamline investigations and managed the implementation of new technology.

“The hiring process was thorough and comprehensive,” Waters said. “The search drew qualified candidates from across the country, and we got the best of the best.”

Sugg began his law enforcement career in 1994 with the city of Norman, Oklahoma. In 1999, he joined the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and stood out as a leader, serving as a field training trooper and a member of OHP’s tactical and emergency response teams.

In 2008, Sugg was promoted to lieutenant and patrol supervisor. In 2013, he achieved the rank of captain, assuming command of Troop A Field Operations—the Training Section for the OHP and the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

He also served as Commander of the Criminal Investigations Section, the Office of Professional Standards Division and emergency services. Sugg begins his new role as Chief of Police in Pelham on April 19.

In addition to the appointment of Sugg, a small celebration was held after the meeting to mark Larry Palmer’s last meeting with the council. Many took time to thank Palmer for his time serving on the council.

“Thank you to all,” Palmer said. “Pelham has been home to me.” Palmer has served in many positions during heis time in Pelham.

Palmer spent 33 years of service in law enforcement and retired as Chief of Police with the Pelham Police Department. He has also served as a past board member of Safe House of Shelby County.

As for his plans after stepping down from his council position, Palmer will move onto a horse farm in Chilton County with his wife and joked that if anyone has a need for any horses in the future to call him up.

Additionally, a resolution was passed unanimously to authorize an increase in the base pay compensation for the Pelham city manager as per the employment agreement retroactive to November 16, 2022.

More information on the Pelham City Council can be found on the official website at