The City of Opelika police department has a long and interesting history. That history will be highlighted in a presentation by Chief John McEachern and Edna Ward. Their program will be based on "Keeping the Peace, A tribute to the Opelika Police Department" a book co-edited by Edna Ward and Jacob W. Hancock. The program will include artifacts and photographs from the Museum of East Alabama's collection.
The history begins in 1854 when the City of Opelika was incorporated. It includes a turbulent time following the Civil War when Opelika had two competing governments. Opelika was placed under the leadership of a Police Board whose members were appointed by the Governor.
The program includes the serious dangers that Opelika Police have faced over the years and the sacrifices officers have made while keeping the peace. There will also be a lighter side with delightful stories about amusing events and entertaining characters over the years.
Chief John McEachern is a native of Opelika. He began his career with the Opelika Police Department in 1974 and served in every division of the department. In 1988 he became a Special Agent with the FBI and had a distinguished 24 year career covering several posts. After retiring from the FBI he was named Opelika Police Chief in 2013 and is still serving in that position. Chief McEachern is known as an entertaining speaker with a depth of knowledge and an engaging wit.
Edna Ward is a native of Lee County. She has edited a book for the History of the Opelika Fire Department and co-edited "Keeping the Peace, A tribute to the Opelika Police Department" with Jacob W. Hancock. She has been extremely active with the Genealogical Society of East Alabama for many years having served as president, treasurer, and editor of Tap Roots. She is now secretary and editor of Tap Roots, the society's quarterly publication.
- October 21, 2017 at 11am – 12pm
- Museum of East Alabama