HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Huntsville Police Department presented its operations and policies to the City Council in a work session on Wednesday following calls for transparency from the community after the protests that spanned from May 30 to June 5.
Huntsville Police reviewed their operations and policies for more than two hours before finally taking questions from the city council. People who were involved in the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this summer were also in the room and outside the chambers with questions about what unfolded during the protests answered.
Huntsville Police highlighted their accreditation and training Wednesday night before the city council. The Alabama standard for police training is 13 weeks. Huntsvilles police academy is 19 weeks.
“We take training very seriously and not only do we take the training seriously we take our standards to a higher level.” Captain DeWayne McCarver.
Chief Mark McMurray says people want to see change and the department is moving in the right direction.
“Ive listened to every comment made to the city council in the last few weeks and already we are changing. Just in the past month we are opening up a portal. People want to see our written directives? We just made that happen,” says Chief McMurray.
City council woman Francis Akridge says while she is thankful for the department’s overview, she says there are still questions left unanswered.
“There are still people who want to know more about the day to day realities,” says Akridge.
Something the department says they need to work on, hiring more diverse officers to reflect the community demographics.
“African Americans need to have some version of an individual that either looks like them or individuals from the community that is being policed to become champions of that badge,” says Devyn Keith.
Huntsville City Council president Devyn Keith encourages all officers to listen to citizens concerns to improve going forward.
Mayor Battle says there will be a response in writing released to the public on Friday talking about the Huntsville Police Department.