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December 18, 2013

Heads Up Huntington app reaches 16,000 downloads in first month

HUNTINGTON – A new smartphone application that is intended to keep residents in Cabell and Wayne counties aware of local emergencies reached approximately 16,000 downloads during the first month that it was available to the public.

Heads Up Huntington is a free app that provides users with critical information in the event of an emergency or disaster, as well as other incidents such as school closings, major traffic accidents and boil water advisories.

The app launched Nov. 5, 2013, and is available to the public through Google Play or Apple’s app store. It was a collaborative effort among the City of Huntington, Huntington Police Department, Mountain State Computer & Networking Solutions and the Cabell-Wayne Homeland Security Committee.

Emergency response officials send alerts to the app using a scale of one through five, with one being a low-level incident that may cause general disruptions in traffic flow, services or utilities and a five being a major disaster that has regional ramifications. Users can customize the app by selecting which notifications are important to them and the alert levels that are sent to their phone as push notifications.

“We have set a goal within our operations in the City of Huntington to set a standard of accomplishment that others throughout the nation will choose to follow,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “Heads Up Huntington is a formidable example of how our community can lead the nation in innovative solutions.”

Ninety trusted delegates of the Cabell-Wayne Homeland Security Committee representing law enforcement, emergency responders, local and state government, school districts, utility companies and the health care industry have been trained thus far to enter alerts through the app.

It is the first official installment of the Huntington Police Department’s “Community Force” initiative, which encompasses concepts that may not contain an element of law enforcement but still serve as a powerful to improve the community.
“As we reflect on our mission statement, it is the last line – ‘Meet the expectations of our community’ – that has inspired our obligation to provide innovative and forward-thinking concepts which exceed the conventional philosophies of police departments,” Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook said.

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December 16, 2013

HPD officers named co-valedictorians of State Police Academy’s 156th Basic Class

HUNTINGTON – Two Huntington Police officers have been named co-valedictorians of the West Virginia State Police Academy’s 156th Basic Class.

John Colyer, 27, of Genoa, and Christina Trembley, 38, of Huntington, received the honor Friday, Dec. 13, upon graduation from the 16-week class. Both completed the academy with a score of 98.5 percent.

“We are proud of their accomplishment, but not surprised,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “They are meeting the standard that we have come to expect from our men and women at the Huntington Police Department.”

Huntington Police Officer Brandon Heighton, 24, of Ironton, Ohio, also graduated from the 156th Basic Class with excellent scores. All three officers are undergoing department-specific training this week and will begin field-officer training this weekend. They will be evaluated by senior officers under a probationary period that will last at least eight weeks before they start patrol work on their own.

“We’re very proud of each officer’s academic achievements while in the Academy,” Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook said. “I hope that is an indication of what we can expect from all three as they begin their careers with the Huntington Police Department.”

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