Police Department Contacts
In the beginning, law enforcement functions for the Community of Scottsboro were provided by the County Sheriff. This arrangement continued until 1867 when our community acquired its first jail facility. This was accomplished by the act of 1867 when Scottsboro was selected as the County Seat and a jail was provided for the County Sheriff.
In February 1869 the Governor of Alabama, William Smith, appointed the first mayor and four council men for the Town of Scottsboro. During the first meeting of the council, I. M. Cunningham was appointed as the Town Marshall of Scottsboro thus making him Scottsboro's first official law enforcement officer.
The Marshall was able to hire and use Police Officers in the town as needed in his absence or to maintain the peace. Thus forming the Town of Scottsboro Police Department. The Town of Scottsboro became the City of Scottsboro in 1932. By the time Scottsboro became a city the Police Department was well established with its own City Jail.
The Scottsboro Police Department has lost one officer in the line of duty. This was Officer Wayne Boggus on August 8, 1963.
The City of Scottsboro and the Scottsboro Police Department have continued to evolve over the years. Both the City and the Department have tripled in size over the past thirty years. The Police Department has advanced from a small town police department with minimum resources to a department with the most technically advanced equipment available to police departments of this size or larger.
The duties of Marshall as written in 1869 were as follows:
According to Scottsboro Police Chief Ernest Swaim, Boggus and Officer Robert Junior had gone on duty at 10 P.M.. Officer Junior was answering a call that a person was wantonly shooting a pistol at Mac's Cafe on North Houston Street.
When Junior arrived, Brown had left the scene. Officer Junior returned to City Hall with an unidentified complainant to obtain a warrant for the arrest of Brown on a charge of discharging a fire arm in the city limits.
Officer Junior returned to Mac's with the unidentified person and saw the owner of the cafe standing in the street with a rifle and told the officer he would shoot Brown if he returned to his place of business.
Officer Junior called for assistance from Boggus, who rushed to the scene in another patrol car, according to Chief Swaim. The two officers were told that Brown was sitting on the steps at a house a short distance from the cafe. The patrolmen left the two cars in front of Mac's and proceeded up the street to the house on foot.
Officer Junior went up to Brown and picked him up off the steps, and when Brown reached toward his hip pocket, Junior grabbed his hand and searched the pocket, finding a .22 caliber pistol.
Junior started leading Brown toward the patrol car to carry him to jail, with Boggus trailing closely behind. Brown then pulled the second pistol, also a .22 caliber pistol with a six inch barrel and aimed over his left shoulder at Boggus and fired.
Boggus, then staggered across the street and fell down on the ground in a yard. Officer Junior, after seeing Brown slump to the ground and thinking him dead, rushed to the side of his fellow officer. He saw the officer had been hit and raced to his patrol car and called an ambulance for both Officer Boggus and Brown.
Keith Smith was Chief of the Scottsboro Police Department from 1980-2006. Chief Smith was hired as an officer in 1971 and was later promoted to an investigator. His perseverance and work ethics led him up the ranks to Administrative Assistant. In 1980, he was appointed to acting Chief and was later given the permanent position of Chief of police.