This is the first in a series of community conversations across the city of Huntsville this year, but it won’t be the last.
Click here for a list of upcoming meetings hosted by the Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council (HPCAC).
Tuesday, conversations on current cases were not to be discussed.
“Everyone wants transparency, but as with what’s going on right now, we can’t talk about it because this is an investigation,” said David Little, founding member of HPCAC. “I think the community needs to understand that sometimes these things happen slowly.”
Officers of all ranks, HPCAC members and the community spoke about HPD’s recruiting and HR practices during Tuesday’s meeting.
Right now, the Huntsville Police Department is down by about 50 officers, but they are not alone.
According to HPD, 85% of police chiefs across the country are struggling to recruit.
According to HPD, between 2015 and 2021, 16 employees resigned under investigation, 10 employees were made redundant, 17 out of 28 in total between 2019 and 2021.
Most incidents were actions reported by other agents or supervisors, not complaints.
As for recruiting, “the challenge is to find qualified candidates,” Little said. ” They’re over there. How do we find them? “
HPD says it goes about it in two ways, attending all local college and high school career fairs, as well as using social media as a means to promote the department.
The process to become an HPD agent is long.
It includes a basic polygraph, psychological and aptitude test.
Then hours of training for the people who get there.
On Tuesday, mental health was also touched on along with other questions about the interview process. In addition, the diversity in the department, etc.
Various topics will be discussed at various locations at these HPCAC meetings this year.
Founding member David Little says he would like to see a lot more people show up in the future.
“The police are ready to be involved,” Little said. “We are ready to be involved. We need the community to be involved.”
If you want to become a police officer, click here.