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Williams moves to appoint Cornwell as Huntington police chief

HUNTINGTON -- Mayor Steve Williams announced Tuesday, April 7, that he is appointing Interim Police Chief Ray Cornwell to serve in the position permanently.

Huntington City Council will vote on the mayor’s appointment during its April 13 meeting.

Cornwell, a lifelong Huntington resident and 24-year veteran of the Huntington Police Department, was named interim chief on Dec. 16, 2019, when former Police Chief Hank Dial was named city manager.

Williams said he used the past four months as an interview process for Cornwell, observing his leadership skills, vision for the Police Department, communication with officers and ability to lead during times of crisis.

“During this time, Chief Cornwell was the architect of HPD’s adjustment to the new 12-hour work shifts, which allows the Police Department to increase the number of officers patrolling our neighborhoods,” Williams said. “He has a breadth of experience that enables him to speak with institutional and professional expertise with each member of the rank and file.”

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 24 years, and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve in this new capacity,” Cornwell said. “Any success I have achieved in my career is owed to the efforts of all of our officers.”

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