Huntsville Police department unveils new recruitment vehicle

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Huntsville Police unveiled a new tool Thursday that can help them recruit new officers: a recruitment vehicle. It is a specially designed cruiser that the department's recruitment team will use at events around the southeast and driving in the Rocket City to get your attention and show what Huntsville Police has to offer.

Officer Karl Kissich is the department's first full-time recruitment officer.

"My main job is first and foremost, to attract as many of the most high-caliber candidates to the Huntsville Police department," he said, "and let them know what a great department we are and get them to put in with us for one of our two police academies throughout the year."

He said awareness like the kind this vehicle can bring is huge for the department, and the community it serves.

"This is basically a driving billboard," he said. "I will also be using this recruitment vehicle for trips out to Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, all over the South. So this is one more way for people to go, 'Wow, look at that! That Huntsville P.D. has got it going on! What's that all about?' And then I've got my website on there for them to check out too."

The vehicle is a dark blue with a banner sweeping the sides. A new logo, "A Call to be the Best," adorns the back sides with the Join Huntsville PD website address  and the Thin Blue Line flag.

"This is going to catch your eye. It's going to draw you in," he said. "That was part of our design for it. To make it simple, bold, colorful, very eye-catching. Draw them into our website and our department."

Ongoing Recruitment Effort

The recruitment vehicle is only one change Huntsville Police has made to its recruiting methods over the past year. In 2016, Police Chief Mark McMurray said the number of applications they received was dwindling. WHNT News 19 has previously reported about the start of the fresh campaign, which included new recruitment videos and social media accounts to attract incoming potential cadets from all walks of life and areas of the country.

And steadily, things have changed. The most recent application period netted more than 700 applications, Kissich said. "I have people from California. Oregon. South Dakota Texas, New Jersey, New York," he stated.

It's a point of pride for the department, and a way which Kissich said helps them train the best of the best to serve and protect Huntsville.

"We are breaking new ground. We are doing all these new things that have never been done before, and it's making such a difference. We still have a lot of work to do, but this is one more tool we put in front of us," Kissich explained. "We need the people who can respond to our very high standards."

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