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Police Department Chief Mark McMurray announces retirement 

Published on February 18, 2022

Chief McMurray and a member of the police department looking at a screen in the NAMACC

Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray announced today he will officially retire March 1, after more than three decades with the City of Huntsville.

McMurray, who joined HPD in 1986 after serving as a Tennessee Valley Authority firefighter and security officer at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, modernized the department and prioritized community policing during his six-year tenure as Chief of Police.

“I want to thank Mayor Tommy Battle for the opportunity to lead the men and women of HPD,” he said. “I will leave the force knowing it has a strong leadership team that will help take HPD to the next level in public safety. My family and I look forward to watching the department continue to grow.”

Huntsville’s top cop since 2015, McMurray provided a depth of knowledge about best practices during his law enforcement career. His expertise and experience as an officer, K-9 handler, investigator, sergeant, lieutenant and captain helped shape the department, which has more than 800 sworn and civilian personnel today.

Under McMurray’s leadership, the department reorganized its Criminal Investigation Division to a centralized location and activated the North Alabama Multi-Agency Crime Center (NAMACC) to use advanced technology to help investigators solve complex cases.

He also helped improve departmental training by opening a new police academy and state-of-the-art firearms range. The facilities bring current and potential police officers from across the country to Huntsville for training.

During his tenure, McMurray ensured HPD stayed on the leading-edge by implementing a Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and Mental Health Officer’s (MHO) programs to help those in crisis access medical treatment. He also maintained the department’s Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA) accreditation.

Mayor Battle said HPD has been making improvements in practices and culture for years and the department’s status as a CALEA Gold Standard with Excellence agency places Huntsville well ahead of many cities in adopting new protocols and reforms.

“Chief McMurray has embraced 21st century policing, and our City and police department are better for it,” he said. “Under Chief’s command, our officers have the resources they need to keep residents safe while continuing to hone their skills as law enforcement professionals. We hope Chief McMurray enjoys a happy and well-deserved retirement with his family.”

McMurray, 60, and his wife, Lisa, have one daughter, son-in-law, and a grandson. A Tampa, Florida, native, McMurray moved to Huntsville when he was 2 years old after his father landed a job at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Throughout his career, McMurray has supervised hundreds of officers, led task forces and investigations, managed facilities and worked with civic groups. His desire to make HPD a premier law enforcement agency that provides the highest quality police services and improves quality of life for all people will serve Huntsville for many years to come.

Retired HPD Capt. Vincent Dauro, now a regional program manager with CALEA, said less than 10% of agencies in the country are CALEA accredited. Being accredited at the highest level means HPD has policies and procedures in place to protect citizens, officers and the City.

Dauro praised McMurray for his vision and efforts to constantly evaluate and improve HPD’s operations to enhance public safety.

“When you allow outside professional entities to set the standards that everybody should be using in the profession, then (Huntsville) citizens know their officers are going to be the best,” he said. “They’re going to be trained right and they’re going to treat people properly.”   

Deputy Chief Kirk Giles will step up to serve as Interim Chief.