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Police Chief Ray Cornwell Announces Retirement

HUNTINGTON – Mayor Steve Williams announced Tuesday, June 8, that Huntington Police Chief Ray Cornwell will retire, effective July 2, 2021 after 25 years of service to the citizens of Huntington.

Cornwell, a lifelong Huntington resident, was named interim chief on Dec. 16, 2019, when former Police Chief Hank Dial was named city manager. Mayor Williams appointed Cornwell to the position four months later, a move which was unanimously approved by Huntington City Council 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 was hired as a probationary police officer on June 24, 1996. He served as a patrol officer until he was promoted in 1998 to corporal and was assigned to oversee training. As Cornwell ascended in rank, he 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. 

“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.”

"It has been an honor and a privilege to work with Chief Cornwell for the past 25 years,” Dial added. “During his tenure, he continued to advance the Department's long history of excellence."

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

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