U of A Huntsville Police Chief, Captain, Officer Removed from Department
A traffic stop of a Black teen prompted an investigation of the agency, which then led to the chief’s, captain’s and officer’s dismissal by UAH.
Huntsville, Alabama – On Tuesday, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) announced its police chief, a captain and an officer were no longer with the school’s police department. The removal of the three was prompted by the officer’s October 3 traffic stop of Caleb Crutcher, 17.
The officer pulled over Crutcher for a cracked headlight. According to a Facebook post by the teen’s mother, “The officer referred to my 17-year-old as ‘brother’ and asked several times if he had any weed or crack or drugs or a dead prostitute in his car. They asked him why he was sweating. (A Mother’s Cry: Because he’s NEVER been in ANY trouble!)”
In response to the incident, UA System Chancellor Finis St. John and UAH President Darren Dawson appointed UA System Director of Security Steven D. Anderson to serve as Interim Police Chief of the UAHPD.
According to a statement from the school, Anderson “conducted a thorough review of UAHPD policies and procedures. As a result, structural, procedural and personnel changes have been implemented. The former chief of police, the former police captain, and the officer involved in the October 3, 2020, traffic stop that sparked these discussions are no longer employed by UAH.”
The school has begun a national search for a new police chief. Additionally, UAHPD officers received more training in the fall, and the training program will be expanded this year. The training covers Identifying Implicit and Explicit Bias, De-Escalation Techniques, Community Policing and more.
UAH also created a police advisory council, and students, faculty and staff will serve on it.
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