Huntsville Police still striving to diversify force, focus on more than just race, gender

Huntsville
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Over the past year, Huntsville Police have increased their efforts to diversify the force.

“We strive to build a department through our recruiting efforts that reflects the diversity of the city,” said Police Chief Lewis Morris.

That doesn’t only mean racial diversity, but diversity by gender, age, and even education.

Morris says despite their efforts, it’s not always easy – or within their control. Chief Morris points to a long, difficult interview process. Recruits drop out, don’t show up, or fail during one of the many rounds of testing.

“Sometimes we lose people because the process is so long and they need a job,” Morris explained. “Sometimes we lose them to other departments.”

Morris says the department is constantly reviewing practices within their control that can help retain recruits and increase diversity – like shortening the interview process.

Coupled with their outreach efforts, Morris says they are seeing their efforts  slowly start to pay off.

While HPD could not readily provide specific numbers to compare to last year’s statistics, Morris does say they still have a way to go before Huntsville Police Force more closely reflects the community they serve.