News release from Mayor Tommy Battle's office:
Huntsville Police Chief Mark Hudson today officially announced his retirement, effective April 1. Chief Hudson has served the Police Department and our community since 1980 when he began his career as a uniformed officer under Mayor Joe Davis, continuing through Mayor Tommy Battle’s appointment as Interim Police Chief.
“I have expressed my desire to retire to Mayor Battle for several months, and my wife and I have given careful consideration to this important milestone decision,” said Chief Hudson. “I leave knowing the department is in capable hands, stronger than ever, and with new leadership that will make our City proud.”
During his 32-year career, Hudson steadily rose through police ranks, playing a key role in the department’s development. Among his many operational achievements, Chief Hudson provided extensive research, and helped develop and formulate policies and procedures of law enforcement. This included community policing, recruitment, officer selection process, training, use of force, supervision and management, leadership, Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action. He was instrumental in the department’s original Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement process in the mid 80s.
“Chief Mark Hudson has served this City and this administration admirably,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “It is with great reluctance that we accept the Chief’s decision to retire. We are grateful for his significant contributions to the police department, and we will miss his leadership. We wish Chief Hudson and his wife all the pleasures of a happy and healthy retirement.”
City Administrator Rex Reynolds commended Chief Hudson as an essential part of the department’s foundation. “Mark was my rock to lean on during my term as Police Chief,” said Reynolds. “The depth of his knowledge of that department was remarkable.”
Mayor Battle has appointed Deputy Police Chief Lewis Morris to serve as the Interim Police Chief.
Chief Morris brings more than 35 years of experience to his post, fulfilling the positions of officer, investigator, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and deputy chief with the Huntsville Police Department. He holds a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from Jacksonville State University. A Huntsville native, Chief Morris is married with two children. His daughter and son-in-law also serve as officers within the Police Department.
“I am honored to fulfill this important post in the City of Huntsville,” said Chief Morris. “I am most grateful to the men and ladies of the Huntsville Police Department for their support.”
Mayor Battle, Chief Hudson, and Chief Morris will hold a media conference to discuss the change in command on Thursday, March 22, 1 p.m., in the Media Room of Huntsville City Hall.