By Erica Thomas, Editor-in-Chief
BIRMINGHAM – Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith held a press conference on Tuesday, July 6 in response to the arrest of one of his officers for drug trafficking and rape.
“It’s a very difficult press conference and no police chief wants to give,” Smith said. “But in law enforcement, I believe in accountability and transparency.”
Matthew Wilcox resigned from his post after an Internal Affairs investigation and a search warrant on his home revealed illegal narcotics, several guns and drug paraphernalia, according to Smith. Smith said a complaint involved allegations of sexual misconduct by the officer.
“During the investigation, allegations were made that Constable Wilcox had sex with another person who was incapable and unable to consent on grounds of incapacity, which constituted rape charges against him.” , said Smith.
Wilcox was arrested and transported to Birmingham City Prison after being charged with first degree rape, illegal possession of a controlled substance, illegal possession of second degree marijuana and illegal possession of drug accessories.
He has been with the Birmingham Police Service since October 2019 and worked as a UAB Police Officer for nine years before coming to the city of Birmingham.
Smith said it is believed there could be more casualties.
“We know this was done through the use of very popular dating sites,” Smith added. “It has come to our attention that on various occasions Agent Wilcox has used at least two very popular dating sites. He also met several women on these sites.
These victims are encouraged to come forward by calling the Birmingham Police Service Special Victims Unit at (205) 297-8413.