HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle named Kirk Giles as the new Huntsville Police Chief this week — but that appointment was delayed at the city’s council meeting.

Giles, a 45-year veteran of the Huntsville Police Department (HPD), currently serves as the interim police chief after Mark McMurray retired in February.

Several Huntsville residents told News 19 that there needs to be more discussion on Giles’ appointment.

Chad Chavez, a Huntsville resident, took the lectern and expressed the need for the council to review this important selection while calling for more diversity in its placement. 

Councilmember Devyn Keith echoed the concerns brought by Huntsville citizens, asking for a review to fully understand what the department head stands for. Councilmember Jennie Robinson was absent, pushing Keith to hold further comments.

“Today councilman Keith talked about the importance of diversity as an important part of leadership,” said Chavez. “I think that continuing to hire from only within the department is not only a lack of diversity in gender or race, but also in viewpoints. All we are going to get is consistently the same kinds of candidates.” 

Giles’ appointment is expected to be addressed at the next Huntsville City Council meeting on December 1.

Despite pushing the appointment, the council did approve pay raises for police and fire cadets. Those raises will go into effect after their training is completed.