Police respond to calls for more training after Huntsville advisory council review

WAAY 31 reached out to the Huntsville police chief and one of his predecessors about the training that officers go through to prepare for situations like last summer's protests.

Posted: Apr 23, 2021 8:30 PM

WAAY 31 reached out to the Huntsville police chief and one of his predecessors about the training that officers go through to prepare for situations like last summer's protests.

During Thursday's Huntsville City Council meeting, the long awaited report from the Huntsville Police Advisory Council was presented to council members and the public for the first time.

A protest was held June 3 against the killing of George Floyd; Credit: Jonah Weinberger

The advisory council was called upon by the city council last June to review the events that happened during protests. In one of those protests, police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, an action they have since stood by.

The current police chief shared a brief statement but said he needs more time to read it before commenting on the recommendations.

We spoke with a former Huntsville police chief who said during his time in command, they had annual training for riots and protests.

Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray shared in a statement that he "looks forward to reviewing the findings and recommendations with [his] command staff and city leadership to determine how [they] can become an even better and stronger department."

McMurray would not comment on any specifics in the report, saying he needs more time to read the 248-page document.

Alabama State Representative and former Huntsville Chief of Police, Rex Reynolds, also wanted more time to read the full report before commenting on some of the findings.

In a statement, he said he wants to "understand where they're coming from on their recommendations and sources that were used to come up with those recommendations."

He did say that most officers generally receive training for riots and protests as new recruits in the academy.

McMurray said they will be back at the city council meeting on Apr. 28 to discuss their plans moving forward.

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