Pelham swears in new police chief Brent Sugg

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2023

By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – The city of Pelham held a ceremony on Wednesday, April 19 at city hall to swear in new Police Chief Brent Sugg.

“First, thank you all for being here,” Sugg said. “It is extremely humbling, the amazing and warm welcome that has been extended to me and my wife. I have said it multiple times, southern hospitality is not lost of Pelham and the great state of Alabama.”

City Manager Gretchen DiFante was present at the ceremony and said the process of hiring Sugg was a thorough one.

“Our process started out with meeting with all of our police officers, wanting to understand what they wanted in a chief,” DiFante said. “We pulled our city council, and they prioritized what was important for them in a chief.”

DiFante said the city also utilized its vast network of relationships with chiefs and individuals in senior law enforcement to meet and introduce Pelham to leaders and law enforcement across the country.

“This search resulted in 60 applicants,” DiFante said. “We were very surprised when 40 of those met the qualifications. We narrowed that pool to 11, then to our top five. We had a three-phase interview process. It was a tough interview process.”

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).

Sugg also served as Commander of the Criminal Investigations Section, the Office of Professional Standards Division and emergency services.

“In my career, I have had the opportunity to hire many people from all different levels and organizations,” DiFante said. “This was the most competitive group of candidates that I have ever had the opportunity to work with. That says something about Chief Sugg. I want his family to hear that message too.”

DiFante extended thanks to police officers and all police personnel for being patient throughout the process and remaining vigilant in serving residents.

“I want to say to Brent’s friends, family and colleagues, we know your entire family has made a sacrifice for Brent to be here,” DiFante said. “I know you will continue to make sacrifices. They placed God’s direction for them as primary to this decision.”

Sugg was sworn in alongside his wife and was met with applause as the ceremony concluded.

Sugg has been in law enforcement since 1994 in the city of Norman, Oklahoma and will move to Alabama to assume his position as police chief, the same city in which his father retired from.

Sugg thanked everyone in attendance for the support he has received in the process of becoming police chief and took time to shout out his family who watched the ceremony via livestream.

“It is overwhelming how many of you who have reached out to welcome me,” Sugg said. “I am very grateful for all of you who showed up and my family who is watching from home. I am grateful for them and the tremendous support from the mayor and the city manager. There is so many people who have told me, ‘We will help you. We will stand beside you.’ There is amazing work done by the people in this community. There is a lot of people I need to thank, I am so grateful that you all took a moment out of your day to share this with me.”