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Mayor Tommy Battle appoints three new City department heads

Published on November 15, 2022

Huntsville City Hall

Mayor Tommy Battle is appointing three new department heads to his administrative team for the City’s police, traffic engineering and cemetery departments.

Each appointee has been working in their respective role in an interim capacity and will officially become directors of their departments pending Council approval, which is now scheduled for the Dec. 1 regular council meeting.

Mayor Battle’s appointments include:

  • Kirk Giles – Chief of Huntsville Police Department
  • Nicholas Nene – Director of Traffic Engineering Department
  • Tara Sloan – Director of Cemetery Department

“I continue to be impressed with the talent in each of our departments,” Battle said. “Thanks to a rigorous hiring process, the City employs people with knowledge, expertise and skill as well as a desire to continuously learn and improve. The City is well-served by advancing staff from within and is thrilled to see these excellent leaders in action.”

Huntsville Police

Interim Chief Giles is an experienced law enforcement veteran with 45 years of dedicated service to the Huntsville Police Department (HPD). He replaces former Chief of Police Mark McMurray, who retired March 1 after more than 30 years with the force.

During his career with HPD, Giles was promoted through the ranks, previously serving as Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Chief, Executive Officer and Interim Chief. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and master’s in justice and public safety, graduating from the FBI National Academy in 2003.

“I am honored to continue to serve and protect our City in this role,” Giles said. “I am grateful to Mayor Battle, the Administration and our City Council for allowing me to lead and work with the exemplary men and women of the Huntsville Police Department.”

Mayor Battle said Chief Giles was an obvious choice for the role of Huntsville’s top cop.

“Chief Giles’ vast knowledge in law enforcement and deep roots in our community have well prepared him for this position,” Battle said. “His experience and steady leadership will ensure our police department is progressive and resilient and will grow even stronger relationships with our partners and community.”

Traffic Engineering

After working with the Alabama Department of Transportation for a decade, Nene joined the City’s Traffic Engineering Division, where he oversaw planning, programming, development and construction management for traffic and safety-related projects. In early 2021, he was promoted to Deputy Director of Traffic Engineering to continue to provide guidance and management of City systems.

Nene earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Alabama A&M University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning with a concentration in transportation.

With a passion for providing safe roadway systems through design and improvement, Nene said he feels a great sense of fulfillment in his role.

“I enjoy what I do because we are making streets safer,” he said. “We could be saving a life through our work, and I treat every improvement as if my own family was using that roadway.”

“Nick’s commitment to safety and efficiency is remarkable,” Battle added. “As Huntsville continues to grow, I have every confidence he is up to the challenge of keeping our roads safe and our travel times manageable.”


Sloan joined the City 10 years ago as a dispatcher for Huntsville Fire & Rescue before transitioning to the role of Constituent Services Program Officer, where she managed the Huntsville Connect program.

Her experience in data analysis and program evaluation made her a natural fit as a cemetery analyst and eventually the Interim Director of Cemeteries, where she has managed the City’s nine municipal cemeteries since 2020.

Sloan earned an associate degree in business administration from Calhoun Community College.

“It’s an honor to know that we are the caretakers of the final resting places of people’s loved ones,” she said. “It’s a huge responsibility that I don’t take lightly, and it is a privilege to provide places of peace and contemplation for those who come to remember lives well-lived.”

Mayor Battle said maintaining the City’s cemeteries is an important job, and he has no doubt Sloan is up to the task.

“Not only is Tara providing conditions and services that honor the people who have called Huntsville ‘home,’ but she is also creating and maintaining a community legacy for future generations to look back on with pride,” he said.

This news post was updated on November 18, 2022