BREAKING: Huntington police chief to retire in July

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK)—On Tuesday, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams announced that Huntington Police Chief Ray Cornwell will retire effective July 2, 2021.

Cornwell has lived in Huntington all his life, and he was named interim chief of December 16, 2019, when former Police Chief Hank Dial was named city manager. May Williams appointed Cornwell to the position four months later, and the Huntington City Council approved of the decision unanimously on April 13, 2020.

“Chief Cornwell led the Police Department through the COVID-19 pandemic, and he was the architect of HPD’s adjustment to the new 12-hour work shifts, which allowed the Police Department to increase the number of officers patrolling our neighborhoods,” Williams said. “Furthermore, property crimes have fallen 8 percent and violent crimes have decreased 5.6 percent under his watch. His breadth of experience and leadership will be missed. I congratulate him for his 25 years of service to our community and wish him well in his retirement.”

Cornwell started his career as a probationary officer in June of 1996, and he served as a patrol officer until he was promoted to corporal in 1998. worked in the Records and Administrative bureaus, served as the midnight shift watch commander, coordinated the Office of Professional Standards and served as captain of the Patrol Bureau throughout his career.

“It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Huntington alongside the men and women of the Huntington Police Department for the past 25 years, and I was honored that Mayor Williams and City Council gave me the opportunity to lead the department,” Cornwell said. “Any success I have achieved in my career is owed to the efforts of all of our officers.”

Mayor Williams says he will announce his plans for an interim chief and permanent replacement in the near future.

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