Former Selma Chief of Police dies
From the ranks of patrolman, Melvin Summerlin Sr., known to his family as “Paw-Paw” and many city of Selma employees as “Slim,” earned his stripes, the respect of others and the position of Selma Chief of Police.
Summerlin died Tuesday at the age 84 following complications after heart surgery, his family said.
Over a career that spanned 38 years with the city of Selma, Summerlin served in the city’s police department, leaving behind a legacy current Selma Chief of Police, William T. Riley, says is one many should work to live up to.
“When I got here, he would come by and talk with me, Riley said. “He would tell me about his time at the department and how he was really proud of how far the department had come.”
Riley said the officers and personnel at the department would always enjoy seeing Summerlin when he visited.
“He got along with everyone and they all enjoyed his visits. He would even attend some of our new officer swearing-in services,” Riley said. “He is someone we will truly miss.”
Summerlin joined the department in July 1952 and retired as chief in June 1991. He later rejoined the city, as a member of E911 from December 1993 to September 2003.
Summerlin is preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Ruby Frances Shows Summerlin.
Summerlin was a member and deacon of Shady Grove Baptist Church and a longstanding member of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Funeral services will be Friday at 11 a.m. at Selma Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Ed Eaton, Rev. Jason Doty and Rev. John Ackerman officiating. Burial will follow at New Live Oak Cemetery with Selma Funeral Home directing.
In addition to the pallbearers, the Selma Police Department and deacons from Shady Grove Baptist Church will serve as honorary pallbearers.