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Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley has announced the appointment of veteran law enforcement official Mike Roper as the city’s new Chief of Police. Roper, a 27-year veteran of law enforcement, will be officially sworn-in on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 11 a.m. at the Bessemer Civic Center, 1130 Ninth Avenue SW in Bessemer. Roper has served since February 2012 as the city’s Deputy Police Chief. He steps into the role left vacant by the retirement of former Bessemer Police Chief Nathaniel Rutledge on September 1. “I can’t think of a better person to fill this position than Mike Roper,” said Mayor Gulley. “I have known Chief Roper for 22 years and he has always impressed me with the professionalism he has displayed in his various positions within the police department. He will be a police chief the residents and businesses of Bessemer can be proud to have serving them.” Roper has spent his entire law enforcement career with the Bessemer Police Department. He joined the department in 1990 as a patrol officer and has steadily moved up the ranks, serving in the department as an investigator, sergeant, lieutenant and captain during his career. In 2012 Roper was named the first Deputy Police Chief in the Bessemer Police Department’s history. Since 2012, the city has experienced double-digit reductions in all major crime categories. “I thank God and I am honored by Mayor Gulley’s confidence in me to lead this department,” said the 58-year-old Roper. “This is not a position I take lightly. “I have always worked hard throughout my career to make sure Bessemer is a safe place for all of its residents and businesses. I will continue to work hard as police chief and will demand the same of all  police department personnel in serving the city of Bessemer.”