Chief Thurston Phelps Bullock was born on March 27, 1973 in Savannah, Georgia after his father was stationed there with the United States Coast Guard. A year later, his family returned home to Foley, Alabama, where he grew up in southern Baldwin County. Thurston attended Foley High School and graduated with honors in 1991. The next five years were spent working at Riviera Utilities in Foley, while attending Faulkner State Community College and Troy State University classes at night. He did this while attending South West Alabama Police Academy on weekends. While in the academy, he was chosen as the squad leader and graduated highest academic in his class. In 1996, Thurston graduated from Troy State University magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and double minors in psychology and business. He knew early on that he wanted to have a career in law enforcement and began preparing and working hard toward that endeavor.
After graduating, Thurston spent a brief three months working as a Reserve Mobile County Deputy for experience before fulfilling his dream of being hired on in his home town with the City of Foley Police Department on August 14, 1996. During his career, he was afforded many opportunities while promoting along the way. He worked as a patrol officer until becoming a detective in Investigations in 1997. He was promoted to corporal while in Investigations in 2000 and later promoted to sergeant in Investigations in 2002. He also served as a narcotics investigator sergeant before becoming a patrol shift sergeant and supervising a night shift. He was then promoted to patrol commander lieutenant in 2007. In January of 2015, he was selected as field operations captain, and two years later in 2017 was selected by Chief David Wilson to be his deputy chief of police and chief of staff. He was awarded Officer of the Year in 2012 and has received the Exceptional Service Ribbon on two occasions, Major Felony Arrest Ribbon, FBI National Academy Graduate Ribbon, Academic Award, Fitness Award, Pistol Expert Ribbon, and Combat Ribbon, along with other recognitions and awards.
Chief Bullock is a published author and has attended numerous specialized schools. He has also held many specialized assignments to include: Supervising the Professional Development Unit that is responsible for all departmental training, field training officer (FTO) for new recruits, FBI certified instructor, served as a polygraph examiner since 2001, FBI firearms instructor, chief firearms instructor for the department, FBI S.L.E.D.S. (Southeastern Leadership Executive Development) graduate, crisis/hostage negotiator, public information officer (PIO) for the media, department A.I.S.O. (Agency Information Security Officer) for A.L.E.A., L.E.P.C. (Local Emergency Planning Committee) steering committee member, fleet manager, A.L.E.R.R.T. certified and active shooter instructor, basic SWAT school, advanced SWAT school, SWAT commander school, and armorer in multiple weapons platforms. In his 24 years of service, he has received well over 2,000 hours of continuous training in various police related disciplines.
Thurston Bullock served on the Baldwin County Major Crimes Task Force for six years. He was also elected in 2014 and served as the southern vice president for the Alabama Tactical Officers Association for the maximum two consecutive, two year terms. As a SWAT commander, he led Foley’s first Special Response Team that later became part of South Baldwin S.W.A.T., a multi-jurisdictional S.W.A.T. team comprised of members from Foley, Orange Beach, and Gulf Shores Police Departments. He is a member of the National Tactical Officers Association, Alabama Association of Polygraph Examiners, American Polygraph Association, and International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors. He is currently serving on the Baldwin County Appeals Board and the Major Crimes Unit Board of Directors. He has assisted Gulf Shores PD and BCSO command each year for the Hang Out Music Festival with over 40,000 attendees and has been the officer in charge (OIC) on many large scale operations and events throughout the city.
Chief Bullock loves the amazing career and opportunities he has had working as a Foley Police Officer over the past twenty-four years. He is now honored and proud to serve as the City of Foley Police Chief and to have the opportunity to give back to the community he was raised in. He is thankful to work with outstanding city leaders and city government and to be a part of “Team Foley”. He is dedicated to serving and protecting its citizens. He desires to keep Foley a great place to live and work while maintaining our safety and quality of life. He is committed to the legacy of leading the men and women of the Foley Police Department and honored to work alongside such dedicated professionals.