Bureau Commander: Captain Chris Merritt
The uniformed patrol officer is the backbone of the Huntington Police Department. Patrol officers are typically the first point of contact with the public. The core function of the Patrol Bureau is crime suppression and prevention through uniform presence and response to E911 calls for service.
The Patrol Bureau also serves as the training and proving ground for new police officers. Upon completion of the West Virginia State Police Academy, probationary police officers (PPOs) must successfully complete a comprehensive 12 week field training program. Each PPO is instructed, evaluated and mentored by very talented, hand selected training officers.
The K-9 Unit’s primary responsibility is the support of patrol operations and drug enforcement activities. The unit currently has six certified K-9 teams. All K-9 teams are dual-purpose teams that are trained in tracking/apprehension and narcotics detection.
The HPD Maritime Patrol Unit was formed in April of 2013 and the Isaac H. Mitchell Patrol Boat was launched in May of 2013. This units responsibilities include providing search and rescue response along the Ohio and Guyandotte Rivers, enforcement of State of WV maritime laws, and to provide support during special events along the Riverfront.
The Huntington Police Department’s “Motor Unit” is not only the oldest Motorcycle unit in the state of West Virginia but it is one of the oldest in the United States. Formed in 1907 and very much in use today with Harley Davidson Road Kings the officers in the Motor Unit are responsible for a multitude of tasks such as leading VIP escorts, funeral escorts, traffic control for Marathons or races and Parades. Officers undergo rigorous instruction and testing in order to be in this Unit and are considered experts in police motorcycle operation when certified. Motor Officers at the Huntington Police Department have had the honor of Escorting Medal of Honor Recipients in their funerals , Escorting materials from The World Trade Center back to Huntington from New York City for a Memorial and Presidential Escorts just to name a few.
Bike Patrol Unit
The Huntington Police Departments Bike Patrol Unit is a part-time unit that provides officers the opportunity to interact with the public in a more personal manner, as well as deter crime by adding additional patrol units. The officers in this unit go through a two week training course and are certified for bike patrol operations. This unit consists of 8-10 police bikes, each equipped with lights and sirens, which are utilized by the certified officers at the department. The unit is used to patrol high crime areas for crime prevention and crime deterrence. The unit is also used for community relations events such as parades and festivals, crowd control for larger events, and escorts for Marathons and other races.
The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team is a part-time, specialized unit, consisting of officers assigned full-time to the Patrol Bureau and Criminal Investigations Bureau. The SWAT team receives highly specialized training to handle high risk search warrants, barricaded persons situations, hostage rescue and special event / protection details.