Huntsville City Council places HPD Chief appointment on hold

The Council additionally approved pay raises for police officers and firefighters at the Thursday meeting
Huntsville City Council approve first responder salary increase
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 11:41 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 10:34 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A vote to appoint a new police chief in the city of Huntsville is on hold.

During Thursday’s City Council meeting, Huntsville Councilman Devyn Keith opted to hold his comments on a resolution to appoint department heads, including who will be the Huntsville Police Department’s next police chief.

“I do not want to be hypocritical,” Councilman Keith said. “I do have a colleague at home and I’ve been in a situation where I have not been able to make my statements from the floor.”

With the absence of Councilwoman Jennie Robinson, the decision was postponed.

Mayor Tommy Battle believes current interim Police Chief Kirk Giles is right for the job. However, some residents are hesitant about the potential internal hire. The vote for the new police chief is expected to come at the council’s December 1 meeting.

PAY RAISES FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

Pay raises for first responders were also on the council agenda on Thursday.

Finding qualified candidates has been a challenge which is why the council approved increasing salaries to hire even more police officers and firefighters in the city.

Police cadets will now start at $54,975 a year and upon completion of training will receive $60,694. Firefighter cadets will start at $52,416 and then increased to $57,824 after completion of training.

The director of human resources for the city of Huntsville, Byron Thomas, says this increase was greatly needed.

“We’re very appreciative for the working service and we’re thankful to have competitive salaries to recruit even more to join in our great police department and fire department, " said Thomas.