Falkville mayor: Police chief on leave due to FBI investigation

Winkles said he can’t comment further due to the ongoing investigation.

Posted: Mar 5, 2019 3:19 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2019 10:47 PM

Falkville Mayor Ken Winkles said the FBI is investigating Falkville Police Chief Chris Free.

Winkles said he can’t comment further due to the ongoing investigation.

Winkles said a motion passed unanimously at Monday night’s town council meeting putting Free on paid administrative leave with full benefits.

Winkles said this doesn't mean Free is innocent or guilty, but the chief will be on leave through the course of the investigation.

WAAY 31 talked to people in Falkville who were shocked and confused when they heard the news about Chief Free. The chief's cousin, Nikki Free, said he's her kids' role model.

"My kids look up to him. All three of my boys look up to him. They want to be a police officer, especially my oldest," Free said.

Charlotte White lives in the police chief's neighborhood. She said he has helped her feel more safe, and she can't imagine why the FBI is investigating him.

"We will just be in disbelief if he is charged with a crime from the FBI," White said.

WAAY 31 reached out to the media representative at the Birmingham FBI office to learn more about the investigation into Chief Free and was told they couldn't comment. We also reached out to Free himself and haven't heard back.

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