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Huntsville Police Chief Lewis Morris Announces Retirement Sept. 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2015

City of Huntsville (Huntsville, AL) - City of Huntsville Police Chief Lewis Morris announced today he will retire September 1. The Chief's long and distinguished career in law enforcement includes 38 years with Huntsville Police in positions as Officer, Investigator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Chief, and ultimately Chief of Police. Through his tenure, he earned the respect of the force and the community he has capably served.

"Chief Morris is a man of integrity and dedication, the kind of man you want leading your police force," said Mayor Tommy Battle. "His instincts were honed from years of criminal justice experience off and on the street, which in turn empowered him to make smart decisions that kept us safe, secure, and well connected to our community."

Active in state and national law enforcement organizations, Morris has earned numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career. He serves on the boards of the Alabama Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force, Gulf Coast "High-Intensity Drug trafficking Area," and on the advisory board of the U.S. Attorney's Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee.

Reflecting on his time with HPD, Chief Morris says he has been honored to serve his hometown, the City where he was born, and to work with men and women he admires and respects.

"Huntsville has one of the finest police departments in the country, and there is no doubt it will be hard for me to say goodbye to the public safety force I greatly respect," said Chief Morris. "Still, I have promised my wonderful and patient wife that this day would come, and I am looking forward to spending more time with family."

Chief Morris says he leaves HPD in capable hands, and that the department is stronger than ever. Mayor Battle announced Captain Mark McMurray will serve as the City's new Police Chief when Morris departs.

"We are fortunate to have a strong bench of senior leadership in HPD," said Mayor Battle. "Captain McMurray is the right person at the right time to lead us forward. He has strong experience in security technologies, and one of the action items he is looking forward to implementing is the new body cameras for our officers."

McMurray has 34 years in public safety and law enforcement, which includes certification as a firefighter. He joined the Huntsville Police Department 29 years ago as a field training officer and canine handler. McMurray later served as investigator in the gang suppression unit, as Sergeant and unit supervisor of the K-9 Unit, Lieutenant of the Special Operations Division, and Police Captain of the West Precinct. He has supervised hundreds of officers, led task forces and investigations, managed facilities and worked with civic groups.

"I am honored and excited to serve as the next Chief of Police for this great city," said McMurray. "This is one of the nation's premiere police departments; one where I learned early on you that can be both cop and a gentleman. I am grateful to Chief Morris for his leadership, and to Mayor Battle and the citizens of Huntsville for this opportunity."

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The Huntsville Police Department is an Internationally Accredited Police Department with an authorized strength of 434 Sworn Officers and 199 Non-Sworn Support Personnel, providing Police Services to over 220 square miles of area in two counties. The Huntsville Police Department operates three precincts and a Special Operations Division, with a fleet of over 500 vehicles, its own APOSTC Certified Training Facility, and has an annual operating budget of over 42 million dollars.

For more information, please contact:

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, 256-427-5006 (w), kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov



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