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Get to know your community and School Resource Officers

A meet & greet for those who help to keep Huntsville City and Madison County safe was held Tuesday evening at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Community members filled the Huntsville-Madison County library's downtown branch for a monthly public forum Tuesday night.

Residents heard from current and former school resource officers about topics including training and recruitment. 

Wiley day, Jr., HPCAC Council Member, said events like this help to foster positive relationships between police and the community.

"Education is the biggest thing that we all lack when it comes to this. so, when we know better, we do better. I think these are very important to have for our communities, for our schools… So that's what I'd say the biggest thing is: education."

Wiley believes these meetings are the place for residents to voice their questions and concerns.

 "Some questions I would have is how do you go about educating the community so they will know what to do in a traffic stop, what not to do in a traffic stop… I think that that's very important, very key."

The next meeting is set for July 12 at a to-be-determined location in district 5. 

HPCAC PUBLIC FORUM MEETING:

The Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council (HPCAC) will explore the specialized role of Huntsville Police Community Resource Officers (CROs) and School Resource Officers (SROs) during a public forum.

“Getting to Know Your Community & School Resource Officers (CROs/SROs)” is the fifth in a series of nine public forums the HPCAC is hosting this year. Each session includes roundtable discussions between the public, police officers and HPCAC members. 

What are CROs and SROs?

Huntsville Police designates four CROs to serve as community liaisons at each precinct. 

CROs educate homeowners and businesses on ways they can help keep their properties and neighborhoods safe. They also serve as ombudsmen, counselors, advisers, mediators, public speakers and general problem solvers.

SROs directly liaise with students at Huntsville City Schools. Their primary task is to make children feel safe so that students may concentrate on learning. SROs are in a unique position to forge trusting relationships with students, and as mentors, to instill a healthy respect for making good life choices.

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The Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council (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.

What does the HPCAC do?

The HPCAC holds public meetings with the community and police throughout the year where the public can discuss issues directly with the officers who serve them. The advisory council is comprised of a diverse mix of community leaders whose primary objective is to improve the relationship between the community and the police department. 

The 13-member Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council (HPCAC) was created in 2010 and its roles and membership were amended in 2021 (Ordinance No. 21-564).

Core Tasks

  • 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)

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