Dear UAH Community,

In the fall of 2020, The University of Alabama System, UAH administration, members of the UAH faculty, staff and students, along with members of the Huntsville community, deemed it necessary to create change within the UAH Police Department (UAHPD). As we approach the Spring semester, it is important to update you regarding the progress The University of Alabama System and UAH administration have made on our action plan to effectuate that change and improve the UAHPD.

At UAH, our core principles include acting with compassion and respecting all persons by embracing cultural humility, diversity and person-centered care. With those principles in mind, we proceeded as follows:

  • UAH administrators met with numerous student groups, alumni groups, elected officials, and community members to listen, learn, and discuss a path forward.
  • On October 22, 2020, 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. Chief Anderson has 25+ years of senior level law enforcement experience, including 11 years as Chief of the Tuscaloosa Police Department.
  • Interim Police Chief 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. UAH has embarked on a national search for a new chief of police. Members of the UAH community and The University of Alabama System have been selected to serve on the search committee to ensure the philosophies of this position align with our values, which include continuously monitoring campus and community engagement, as well as our training, policies and procedures.
  • UAHPD officers received additional training in the fall, and the training program is being further expanded in 2021. Training includes wide ranging topics, such as Identifying Implicit and Explicit Bias, De-Escalation Techniques, Community Policing and others.
  • UAH students, faculty and staff have been appointed to serve on the newly-created Police Advisory Council. The Council seeks to share UAH’s community input on matters pertaining to police service and campus safety issues and to make recommendations to the chief of police on issues or concerns involving the UAHPD, the UAH community and our neighboring Huntsville community.

We are working diligently to ensure that the UAHPD:

  • Is visible, accessible and engaged with the University community.
  • Consistently works with the University community regarding campus safety and security endeavors.
  • Positively represents the UAHPD as an active member of the UAH community.

These efforts, as well as those to come, will enhance the UAHPD’s interactions with the campus and community, and will further reaffirm the standards and practices that are a hallmark of The University of Alabama in Huntsville and The University of Alabama System.

To submit an announcement, contact
More info