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Unlucky break turns into a successful career choice

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
RED BAY- Red Bay Police Chief Pat Creel vividly remembers Jan. 10, 1976.
It was the day that the Gordo Police Chief called him and told him that the dispatcher position was already filled.
They say God never closes a door without opening a window.
The Chief then asked if Creel would be interested in becoming a police officer instead.
"The rest is pretty much history," Creel said. "I applied for the dispatcher position in hopes that it would lead to becoming an officer at some point…I just jumped ahead one step."
He was hired and attended the Montgomery Police Academy later that year at the age of 22.
"I graduated from the eleventh session at the academy," Creel said.
After a few years at the Gordo Police Department, Creel became Police Chief in Reform.
After several years in law enforcement, Creel decided to work in the private sector while raising his two children.
"I worked in the private sector for 13 years because police officers did not make a lot money, and we were raising a family," Creel said. "As soon as it was feasible, I returned to the world of law enforcement."
Creel's return to law enforcement was in 1998 at the Winfield Police Department. A few years later, in 2000, he was promoted to Winfield Chief of Police.
During his career in law enforcement, Creel has worked all kinds of cases, including several murder cases and numerous drug cases.
Creel was offered the Police Chief position in Red Bay in 2004 so he and his wife packed up and the rest is history.