Higher Temperatures, More Summer Patrol in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  Police in Huntsville are well aware of the wave both heat and of violent crimes all across the city.

There’s something in the summer air. Shootings, stabbings and robberies.

Violence is rising as fast as the temperature, and Huntsville Police Officers are on high alert, more recently in North Huntsville.

“We’ve already had tentative plans in the works as well,” said Deputy Chief Kirk Giles. “We’re very keen on the fact that, you know, all of the things happen in those areas, as tragic as it is.”

With the most recent shooting just this week, they are working to get more officers on the streets. Not just for North Huntsville.  Giles said violent crimes have been happening all over the city.

Just this month, a shooting a the Lydia Gold Skatepark sent one man to the hospital. A teen was shot to death at a Sunoco gas station. Another teen was shot in the head outside of a North Huntsville home.

“If we could predict where a crime is about to happen, we would be there,” Giles said. “We can’t be everywhere at once.”

The good news this month, an approval from the City Council to fill a vacant HPD position and make more hires. Plus there are now additional officers from a recent Huntsville Police Academy.

However they can’t fight crime solo just yet.

“You’ll see more what we call duel-units, two officers riding together. But the majority of the time that will be an officer filtering another, rookie, or recent graduate of the academy.”

Those extra eyes never hurt, but police efforts can only go so far. Giles says parents play a large role in helping to prevent violence among the city’s youth.

“Just knowing where your kids are and who they’re with can make all the difference,” said Giles. “I even keep an extra eye on my kids during the summer.”

The most recent Huntsville Police Academy graduates will train in the field for the next 12 to 14 weeks, so you won’t see the extra cars right away.

They’ll be ready to go this fall.

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