August 23, 2013

The many faces of Fast Eddie

Chickasha's police chief has captured the interest of the people, and they want to know about the man and his fast crime-stopping car

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star


Eddie Adamson, Chickasha Chief of Police, has had some adventures.

He missed a bullet by a mechanical fluke, worked with the Clintons and was interviewed by the BBC on the night of his high school prom. 

Always a fan of the open road, Adamson once owned a motorcycle. But after putting mileage on his back— partly while commanding SWAT teams—he said he sticks to convertibles, like his silver BMW. He picked it for a good reason: "Life is short." 

Convertibles also have the benefit of what Adamson calls "air therapy." Going on a drive with the top down helps him deal with stress, he said. 

Adamson is also a big fan of music which may have propelled him into a career as a radio D.J. and newscaster for a station in East Arkansas that played a mix of country, old rock, big band music and Christian music. 

The wide range of tunes was right down Adamson's alley, who describes his taste in music as "eclectic," listening to everything from Kid Rock to B.B. King. "I've got all kinds of music on my iPod," he said. Adamson isn't just into the big boys, he likes a lot of independent artists as well, such as a band called "Egypt Central," from Memphis. 

Adamson describes himself as "tech nerd," and he's been at it for a while. He said he first got into computer programing in the early 1980s. His first computer was a TI-99/4A that plugged into the television. He said he still enjoys toying with technology, trying new things in new ways. It's also been helpful with his reemerging interest in photography. 

Adamson said he had a "very enjoyable career" working with Power Pro Wrestling outside the ring in Alabama. Adamson did a live broadcast show, held fundraisers for Toys for Tots and took a lot of pictures and got into some writing. 

"I got hit a lot" he says with a laugh. 

Adamson has been a shutterbug from an early age, even garnering international attention. 

While Adamson attended high school in Arkansas, he was a photographer for his high school yearbook. The photos from that night appeared in the Washington Post and around the world via the Associated Press. 

"I was just in the right place at the right time," Adamson said. 

The subject of these widely published photos was the first integrated prom in 1988 in Forrest City, Arkansas. News media were not permitted inside the prom, but satellite trucks were camped outside while Adamson snapped away pictures inside while enjoying his prom night. That night, he was also interviewed by BBC. 

"We were just having prom," Adamson said. For Adamson's class the real excitement was having a prom at all. 

In addition to having his photos in publications in households across the globe, Adamson has rubbed elbows with some big household names. 

Adamson has worked directly with former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Clinton and been to a New Year's Eve party with Cybil Shepard and Justin Timberlake in attendance.

But to Adamson, "Everybody is just somebody." He said he said he passes this message on to his daughter, who has recognized people in the media her father has met when she was younger with a passive, "Hey isn't that that guy we met?" 

They once stopped at a roadside carnival where they met Shaquille O'Neal and his children. But to the Adamsons, Shaq was just a guy with his kids. 

Adamson said he is appreciative of his life experiences and credits his parents for building his confidence. 

"I was just a kid that grew up in Arkansas," Adamson said. "but I had parents that never told me 'you can't.'"

Adamson and his daughter, Presley, a senior at Chickasha High School, enjoy going on road trips together. They regularly take off to Arkansas to meet with family, to try new things and dine at hibachi grills. 

However, not all of Adamson's adventures have been joyrides. He's been shot at, stabbed, beaten up and left on the side of the road and had his family stalked by a psychopath. 

Adamson has literally dodged a bullet due to a mechanical error that he says seems impossible. During a drug raid, Adamson was shot at while entering a doorway. The first bullet flew just by Adamson. Then something amazing happened, Adamson said. The casing did a 180 and went back into the the barrel, preventing another shot. 

"There is just no way that should have happened," Adamson said. 

This raid was also an example of Adamson wearing many hats. In the local newspaper the day after the raid, Adamson was captured wearing his raiding vest over a peach shirt and a tie. Adamson said he had just come back from teaching a criminal justice class at the local junior college. 

Adamson has been in law enforcement for 23 years. He's worked in Forrest City, Arkansas and Guymon, Okla. before becoming police chief in Chickasha in October 2012. He's also taught criminal justice in a university setting, trained officers and taught gang awareness to police officers and school administrators. He also served as a school resource officer. 

"It was a tough job but very rewarding," he said. 

A brush with death; photography published in the Washington Post at the age of 18; toasting the new year with celebrities; Adamson takes it all in like breeze running through his convertible, oddball music blaring, on the road to some new adventure.