Huntsville police getting more officers

City leaders say the need for more officers comes with growth in the city.

Posted: Sep 27, 2019 7:02 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2019 7:04 PM

Huntsville City Council approved a budget that will allow the city's police department to add in more officers.

City officials say because of the growth in Huntsville, the officers are needed in order to keep Huntsville a successful city.

"As we grow, we've got to grow our infrastructure and part of that is public safety," Mayor Tommy Battle said.

Mayor Battle says public safety is an important aspect of keeping Huntsville a great city.

January census data shows Huntsville has surpassed Mobile, and is now the third-largest city in the state. If that growth continues, Huntsville is on track to become the largest city in the next decade, surpassing Birmingham.

Right now, Birmingham's police force is more than twice the size of Huntsville's. City Councilman Will Culver said crime is comparatively lower in Huntsville than in bigger cities like Birmingham, but adding eight new officers is a way for them to stay on top of that. The mayor agrees.

"People are very excited about, let's be the biggest. My idea is, let's be the best as we add public safety that helps us to be the best," Mayor Battle said.

Councilman Culver said the next police academy class will have eight new officers, and they will have two classes of about eight officers twice a year. He says the funding is coming mostly from the city.

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