Headlines News

‘Big John’ retires

Stallworth ends APD career as departments second-in-command

Stallworth and his wife, Tyann, pose together for the first time with him in uniform.

News Staff Writer

For most of the past 28 years, John Stallworth has worn the badge of the Atmore Police Department. He put that badge away Tuesday, November 2, marking the end of his APD career.
Stallworth, 48, joined the city police department in April of 1994 as a 20-year-old patrol officer under then-Police Chief Glen Carlee and after several years in that position, moved steadily up the departmental ladder.
He became an investigator in 2015, was promoted to lieutenant in 2017 and achieved captain’s rank and informal designation as APD’s assistant chief in January 2020.
The imposing policeman (known to many as “Big John” due to his 6-feet, 6-inch height and the 340 pounds he carries on that frame), said he has enjoyed his time in service to the citizens of his hometown.
“It’s been a good ride,” he mused. “(Current APD Chief) Chuck (Brooks) and the entire city have been good to me. I’m happy the good Lord gave me most of 28 years as a police officer in Atmore.”
Stallworth was hired at the same time as Danny McKinley, who later became the department’s chief. His first patrol was with Jason Dean, who also later advanced to APD chief.
The now-retired city cop, thought by many to be the heir-apparent to the chief’s job, said there are several reasons he decided not to wait for such an opportunity to arise.
“First, I feel like Chuck has done a good job as chief, and he will be here a long time,” he said. “Plus, all the bad flows uphill in a police department, and it all winds up on the chief’s desk. I just don’t want all the headaches and stuff the chief has to deal with.”
Thinking back, Stallworth laughed about his first patrol, when he and Dean were assigned to the midnight shift.
“I’ll never forget it,” he recalled. “I was 20 years old, and it was the first time I had ever been out all night. I never knew so much went on in Atmore at night.”
He pointed out that there could be another Stallworth patrolling a beat or investigating a crime in the near future. He and wife Tyann’s daughter, Alexandria, recently earned her degree in criminal justice.
“We’ll just see how it goes,” the former APD captain said of his offspring’s future.
Stallworth added that the end of his APD career would not mark the end of his career in law enforcement.
He will continue to work the part-time job he has held for the past 19 years, as a security officer at Coastal Alabama Community College’s Atmore campus, and on November 7 will join the Poarch Creek Indians tribal police force as a fulltime patrol officer.
“Basically, I just want to keep serving the community, just like I always have but in a different capacity,” he said. “This is what I do best, something I can still do for the citizens of Atmore.”