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Tony McElyea, the Valley's First Responder for December

Valley's First Responder

Huntsville - Tony McElyea is the Community Resource Sergeant at the Huntsville Police Department, and Wednesday, he spoke to a class of cadets at the Huntsville Police and Fire Academy.

"We had a class on community resource officers and also mental health," said Sgt. McElyea.

He told the cadets to take pride in what they do and to serve the community on and off duty.

"The old that's trying to unload her groceries, get out and help her," he said.

Sgt. McElyea is also a supervisor over mental health. 

"We're one of four departments throughout the nation that received a grant for this crisis intervention team. That's one thing that is being implemented in the city," he said.

For over 14 years, Sgt. McElyea has served the community as an officer, a member of the STAC team, a Patrol Sergeant at the West, and executive officer over the Instant Response Team.

"I was born here in Huntsville, so I have deep roots here in Huntsville. I care about the community," said Sgt. McElyea. "I appreciate the opportunity to be hired on here. I think it's the finest department in the country."

As a community resource sergeant, he appreciates being able to work and meet new people and he hopes to make a positive impact as a representative of the department.

"Unfortunately we have incidents across the nation that negatively impact people's perception of the police," he said. "I hope to change that perception if people have that perception and if not, just strengthen their perception our bond and areas that we serve."