Jeff Rutledge was sworn in Monday evening at Town Hall. He is looking forward to making a difference in his hometown by establishing its first police department and treating Munford residents with respect.
After being approached by a councilmember about the development of a police department in Munford, Rutledge was enthused about the opportunity to head a department that would serve in his hometown.
“When I left policing five years ago I never had any intention to start back,” Rutledge said.
“But this opportunity was different; I got to service my community.”
His wife is Cindy Rutledge and together they have three children. Their son Daniel is 25 years-old, their daughter Rachel is 22, and their daughter Leah is 14.
Rutledge has also pastored Grace Community Church on Woolfolk Road for about 11 years.
He thought the opportunity to pastor and do police work in the same community would work well together and balance each other out..
Rutledge started policing in 1999 and worked with the Talladega Police Department for four years and Oxford Police Department for one year.
“I’ve policed in other places but this is special because this is my hometown,” Rutledge said.
Rutledge admits he still has a lot to learn and is in the process of getting set-up with a lot of paperwork and other administrative tasks.
Since he was sworn in, Rutledge has had the power to make arrests and traffic stops.
Over the next year, Rutledge is looking forward to applying for more federal and state grants that will provide more personnel and equipment for the department.
He is also hoping to dispel any negative attitudes towards police officers while serving Munford.
For Rutledge it is all about attitude.
“You treat people with respect, even if someone has to go to jail,” Rutledge said.
He also said it didn’t matter if someone worked at the local convenience store or a factory, it’s all about showing and treating them with respect.
“I know most of the people here,” Rutledge said. “It’s not so much of a career, it’s just an opportunity to be in the community around people I grew up with and to make a difference.”