Alabama Highway Patrol

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Alabama Highway Patrol
Alabama Highway Patrol.jpg
Patch of the Alabama Highway Patrol.
AL - DPS Door Seal.jpg
Alabama Highway Patrol Door Seal
AL -DPS State Trooper.jpg
Badge of the Alabama Highway Patrol.
Motto Courtesy, Service, Protection
Agency overview
Formed 1936
Employees 1,268 (as of 2004) [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Alabama, USA
Size 52,419 square miles (135,760 km2)
Population 4,627,851 (2007 est.)[2]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Montgomery, Alabama
Troopers 681 (as of 2004) [1]
Civilians 587 (as of 2004) [1]
Agency executive Major Herman Wright, Division Chief
Parent agency Alabama Department of Public Safety
Posts 17
Official AHP website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Alabama Highway Patrol, a division of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, is the highway patrol agency and de facto state police organization for the U.S. state of Alabama, and which has full jurisdiction anywhere in the state. The Alabama Highway Patrol was created in 1936 to protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of Alabamians.

First pony car vehicles[edit]

In 1971, the Alabama Highway Patrol became the first police organization in the United States to use down-sized vehicles for regular highway patrol duties. This pre-dated, among others, the Camaros and Mustangs that were used by other departments years later. The AMC Javelins were the first pony cars used as police cars by any U.S. organization.[3]

The Alabama Highway Patrol evaluated two versions supplied by a local dealer: a 1971 AMC Javelin SST with a 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 and a 1971 Javelin-AMX with a 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 engine.[4] After this trial, the first order was for base model Javelins with heavy-duty "fleet" equipment, "Machine" wheels with Good Year Polyglass raised-white-lettered tires, and a rear spoiler (normally available only on a Javelin AMX model) to display the "State Trooper" markings on the rear of each car.[4] A total of 132 AMC Javelins were purchased during 1971 and 1972.[5] The Javelins came with 401 cu in (6.6 L) 335 horsepower (250 kW; 340 PS) AMC V8 engines.[6]

The last of the AMC Javelins was retired in 1979, and one of the original cars is now part of the Museum at DPS Headquarters.[6]

Rank Structure[edit]

The Alabama Department of Public Safety rank structure is as listed:

Rank Insignia


US-O6 insignia.svg
Lieutenant Colonel
US-O5 insignia.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg
US-O2 insignia.svg
Blank - Spacer.png

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Alabama Highway Patrol, 28 officers have died while on duty[7]

Other notable officers[edit]

James Bonard Fowler became a significant player in escalating the acute racial conflict that led to the Selma to Montgomery marches in the American Civil Rights Movement.[8] As a corporal in the Alabama State Police in 1965, he shot and killed an unarmed black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, but was not prosecuted and convicted for the killing until 45 years later.[8][9] Fowler is also under investigation in the May 8, 1966 death of 34-year-old Nathan Johnson, another unarmed black man.[10] Johnson had been arrested for suspicion of drunken driving on US Highway 31 and was fatally shot by Fowler at the Alabaster, Alabama Police Department.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c USDOJ Statistics[dead link]
  2. ^ "2007 Population Estimates". 2009-01-07. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  3. ^ Newhardt, David; Harholdt, Peter; Yates, Brock (2009). Art of the Muscle Car. MBI Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7603-3591-8. Retrieved 20 June 2012. Alabama State Police officials felt that if they couldn't beat 'em under the rules, then they would change the rules. 
  4. ^ a b "The 1971-1972 AMC Javelin - The Original Pony Police Car". Special Service & Non-Traditional Police/Fire Vehicles. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Newhardt, pages 182-187.
  6. ^ a b "The Alabama State Trooper - AMC Javelin". Alabama Department of Public Safety. 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Alabama Department of Public Safety, Alabama Fallen Officers". Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  8. ^ a b Fleming, John (6 March 2005), "The Death of Jimmy Lee Jackson", Anniston Star, retrieved 2008-01-21 
  9. ^ Brown, Robbie (15 November 2010). "45 Years Later, an Apology and 6 Months". New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Associated, Press (24 November 2009). "FBI: Ex-Alabama trooper Fowler's 1966 killing of black man in Alabaster jail still probed". Anniston Star. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  11. ^ Associated, Press (24 November 2009). "FBI says ex-trooper's 1966 killing of black probed". Anniston Star. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 

External links[edit]