Phil Campbell welcomes new police chief - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Phil Campbell welcomes new police chief

Phil Campbell Police Chief Joe Fike (Source: WAFF) Phil Campbell Police Chief Joe Fike (Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

Phil Campbell is welcoming a new police chief.

Courtland's assistant chief, Joe Fike, will fill the position.

Merrell Potter, the previous chief, retired.

"I've got a legacy to try and carry on, I guess, and some very big shoes to fill," said Fike.

Fike comes to Phil Campbell with 16 years in law enforcement in Lawrence County, Town Creek and Courtland.

"I'm just a down home person. I come from a small town and I want them to know that if they have a problem they can feel free to come talk to me and know that it will get resolved," said Fike.

Besides being a police officer, his second passion is farming. He serves on the Franklin County Farmers Federation and Cattleman's Association.

"I really enjoy getting out there on a tractor, and I have cattle and I have poultry houses," Fike said.

He's already on track to fix a major problem in the railroad town of trains being stuck on the tracks for multiple days. Fike said one had been stuck on the tracks since Friday and blocking many of the railroad crossings

"That could mean a life or death in a situation where you have a medical emergency or a fire you'll have to divert the response teams like fire or ambulance," Fike said.

Coleen Ergle provides meals to the homebound and said this happens quite often.

"I had one lady call me and she said, 'I thought you were supposed to be here,' and I said, 'Well, the train is stopped on the road so it just takes extra time,' and so it’s mostly frustrating for the older people," Ergle said.

"I think it’s something we need to address a little more promptly when it happens," Fike said.

He plans to address the train issue more in depth to prevent future road blocks.

The town is also looking to hire another full-time police officer.

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