5 things HPD’s South Precinct Captain wants you to remember this fall
Published on August 31, 2016
Captain DeWayne McCarver, South Huntsville Precinct Captain, just celebrated his one year anniversary as captain. Formerly, McCarver was a first shift lieutenant for the Huntsville Police Department (HPD) and before that he served as STAC commander. When you add it up, he has been with HPD for 22 years. He’s seen and experienced a lot.
“A career in law enforcement can change you. It’s important you make sure that change is for the better,” McCarver said. “In other places, it’s all about the ‘enforcement’ part of the job. We try to lead with a different mindset all about helping people and finding solutions to problems.”
We asked Captain McCarver for 5 tips (from HPD’s perspective) as we approach fall. Here’s what he told us.
School Zone Safety: Remember to use car rider lines
McCarver: This is an issue for not only South Huntsville but the entire city right now as we transition into the new school year. Students – elementary school aged through high school – are walking off campus to meet their parents in nearby neighborhoods. This is troubling for a couple of reasons. First, students are putting themselves at risk by leaving the secure and safe car rider lines. This creates dangerous traffic situations for both students and nearby drivers. Second, it increases traffic and tension in these nearby neighborhoods – as residents become blocked in their driveways unnecessarily. Remember, car rider lines are set up with safety checkpoints and designed specifically to keep our children’s safety in mind. We can’t emphasize this enough – use those car rider lines.
One simple thing you can do to prevent crime
McCarver: Lock your cars at night. It sounds really simple – and it is! You’d be surprised at just how often we discover a car was left unlocked helping to make a burglar’s mission much easier. Often, if these folks don’t see anything appealing sitting in your car, they’ll try to investigate further by pulling your door handles. If the car is locked, they move on. Unfortunately, more often than not, cars are left unlocked. I’d say 90% plus of the cases we encounter in South Huntsville occur because a car was left unlocked.
Celebrate football season safely
McCarver: It’s that time of year, and, trust me, we’re all excited! We want you to have fun and be safe before, during and after your football gatherings. Don’t drink and drive and ruin the fun. If you plan on drinking, set up a plan beforehand to designate a driver and get home safely.
See us? Say Hi
McCarver: So often we encounter people when they are having really bad days. You can imagine we really savor those moments when we get to interact with you in a casual setting. The next time you see one of our officers out and about – whether we’re on our lunch break or run into you somewhere else – stop us and say hi. Our officers really appreciate and enjoy these encounters more than you know.
Join us for the South Precinct Haunted House Adventure
McCarver: For the past 5 years or so, South Precinct has put together a live haunted house as one, safe option to celebrate Halloween. Last year, almost 700 people joined us, and we had a blast. This is a fun event where kids can see officers and civilian staff in a different role than they are used to. A lot of folks ask us why we host this event each year on the Friday before Halloween instead of Halloween itself. The answer is simple. We know many South Huntsville churches host Halloween events, and we don’t want to distract or compete with them. Plus, this way the kids get to dress up twice! Mark the date on your calendars – October 28, 6 – 8 p.m.
Passionate about the work of law enforcement, McCarver recounted for us the moment, early on in his career, that he began to see his job differently.
“I thought I was only out here to catch bad guys, and then I came across this little old lady whose car had broken down on the side of the interstate,” McCarver said. “I stopped to help her, and she broke down in tears thanking me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. That meant more to me than catching one hundred bank robbers. Nothing felt better than the feeling of helping, no matter how seemingly small the help offered was.”