The Huntsville Police Department has enjoyed a long, rich history. Huntsville began a rapid growth in the early 1950s due to the influx of people to support the space and rocket industry. The department was forced to transform from a small-town police department serving 16,437 residents in 1950 into one of the largest police departments in the state serving 123,519 citizens by 1964.
Friday promotions within the Huntsville police ranks will mark two historic milestones within the department. Lieutenant and third shift Baker precinct commander JesHenry Malone will become the first African-American in Huntsville police history to be promoted to the position of captain.
"It is special," said Malone on the eve of his historic promotion, "But that specialness only holds a certain amount of weight in what I do."
Malone began his law enforcement career in his hometown of Monroeville, Alabama and has served Huntsville for 15 years.
"I think every promotion, no matter what rank, is special," Malone said. "More personally, it's special to me because it marks an accomplishment regardless of my ethnicity. The fact that I am quote unquote, the first African-American to acheive this rank is a tremendous experience to me personally to have that distinction, but it does not mark what I do."
Friday, Malone will step into the shoes Captain Sherry Jackson has filled during part of her 28-year career with the Huntsville Police Department. Jackson will be the first woman in department history to hold the position of deputy chief.
"I know there's a lot of press like we're doing now about me being a female and that's really neither here nor there to me," Captain Jackson admitted Thursday. "However, if it does one thing, if it encourages other women to believe in themselves and helps them acheive their goals, then I'm happy for that."
The Huntsville Police Department has scheduled a promotional ceremony for Friday, June 22. The event will be held at 2 p.m. in the Huntsville City Council Chambers located at 308 Fountain Circle.
The following lists the employees being promoted, the number of years served with HPD and their new assignments:
Officer Erroll Cammack 11 years - Investigator
Officer Jason Ramsey 10 years - Sergeant
Officer Chris Grubbs 7 years - Sergeant
Officer Michael Danley 12 years - Sergeant
Sergeant Jeffery Rice 14 years - Lieutenant
Sergeant John Newberry 17 years – Lieutenant
Lieutenant Mark McMurray 26 years -Captain
Lieutenant JesHenry Malone 15 years - Captain
Captain Sherry Jackson 28 years - Deputy Chief
Captain Kirk Giles 35 years - Deputy Chief