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Huntsville Police, citizens committee hosting showcase for public

HUNTSVILLE – Moses Hightower, Larvell Jones, Casey Mahoney and Karen Thompson will not be making appearances, so forget the fictional characters played by Bubba Smith, Michael Winslow, Steve Guttenberg and Kim Cattral in the 1980s “Police Academy” movie franchise.

This is the real thing.

The Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Committee (HPCAC) invites the public to go behind the scenes of the city’s training academy Monday from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Public Safety Training Academy, 5365 Triana Blvd.

“We want to take residents behind the scenes to learn about new and innovative ways our police officers are trained and educated,” HPCAC Chair Jonathan Rossow said. “For those who want to understand why police do what they do and the challenges facing law enforcement, this is an excellent opportunity to go straight to the source.”

According to the HPCAC, modern-day police training has changed to incorporate a more comprehensive and community-oriented approach. The Huntsville Police Department has been at the forefront of this evolution and continually works to increase transparency, reduce use-of-force incidents, revise policies and increase diversity.

HPCAC further states that the rise in mental health-related calls has helped shape new programs in law enforcement. HPD led the state by implementing mental health training for its officers and creating a co-responder program that pairs master’s-level health professionals with Crisis Intervention Team certified officers.

The HPCAC serves to promote productive police and community interaction and foster mutual trust by assisting the police in achieving a greater understanding of the complex social fabric of the community. The HPCAC brings a citizen’s perspective on the policies and procedures of law enforcement and helps advise on a variety of topics including diversity, recruitment, training and discipline.

The HPCAC, created in 2010, holds public meetings with the community and police throughout the year where the public can discuss issues directly with the officers who serve them.

Core tasks of the HPCAC:

  • Advise the HPD Chief & Command Staff leadership on changes to policy, recruitment & hiring, and best practices
  • Facilitate dialogue and trust with the community through public meetings and community outreach (i.e. attend/speak at a wide variety of venues)
  • Provide two HPCAC members to all Incident Review Boards (IRBs)
  • Support the Internal Affairs process for citizen complaints
  • Participate in the HPD Strategic Plan review
  • Participate in the HPD Annual Report review
  • Review a quarterly summary of IA complaints to identify trends, patterns or areas of concern that need to be addressed
  • Promote & participate in the HPD ride-along program
  • Attend HPD education seminars to become more knowledgeable on policing practices (i.e. How & Why police do what they do)

For more information, visit [email protected]


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