Huntsville Police “Blue Notes” do community policing through song

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – From Minneapolis, to Cleveland, and maybe Birmingham, protestors are expected to show up in popular shopping areas this weekend to speak out about what they see as racism in the country.

In Huntsville, four black police officers are communicating messages of peace through song and they’re in high demand.

Miles away from where people are staging “die-ins” in response to black citizens fatally shot by white police officers, there’s music.

The “Blue Notes” of the Huntsville Police Department take the stage at the Southeastern Intercultural Academy on Blue Spring Road and, well, wing it.

“It’s the Christmas concert and we didn’t know any Christmas songs… how bout that?” laughed Officer Eric Newby, a member of the “Blue Notes.”

They describe themselves as a gospel singing group who have found a unique way to do their job.

“[It’s] community policing through song,” said Lt. Jeffery Rice.

Newby explained the reaction of people who see the group perform.  “They have a perception of you at first that is broken down once we start singing.”

They know, right now across the country, there is tension over the relationship between police officers and the public.  Their take on it is this:

“Bad experiences have happened, but that’s not every officer,” said Officer Gerald Johnson, another member of the group.

Rice agreed and put it this way: “We all can grow, we all can do better, we all have to work with one another for a common goal and that is to have a good honest community where people feel safe.”

Between the four members, they have 70 years of experience serving and protecting the public in Huntsville.

They believe the department has a good relationship with its citizens.

“We don’t know most of the, some of the people that we deal with, so it’s not a personal thing with them, it’s just part of what we have to do as law enforcement officers,” said Officer Gerald Johnson, another member of the group.

And the officers ‘wing it’ when they go on calls, trying to keep things safe and happy for everyone.

The Blue Notes don’t charge to perform.  They are in high demand during the holidays.

To request them, contact Tamara Doyle c/o Captain Presley at (256) 427-7157 or email: tamara.doyle@huntsvilleal.gov.