Huntsville Police

The Huntsville City Council has voted to pay an additional $25,000 for the legal defense of a police officer charged with murder. reports the Huntsville City Council voted Thursday night to add another $25,000 to $75,000 it already promised to put toward William Darby's legal defense. The council also voted to cap the city's contributions at $125,000.

Darby has been charged with murder in the 2018 shooting of 49-year-old Jeffrey Parker.

Huntsville Police Chief Lewis Morris says he's retiring on September first.

Morris made the announcement during a news conference this morning. Huntsville city officials say west precinct commander Capt. Mark McMurray will serve as interim police chief.

Morris has served as police chief since April 2012. The announcement comes a day after 48-year-old officer Brett Russell was convicted of federal excessive force and obstruction of justice charges for assaulting a suspect and filing a false report.

The police department in Huntsville is looking for promising new recruits. reports the city is accepting applications through July 31 for its next police academy class. City Administrator John Hamilton couldn't say exactly how new officers Huntsville plans to hire, but past academies have included roughly 20 to 30 cadets.

Hamilton says Huntsville officials are also looking for a diverse class of recruits. The city's last police academy class had just three black cadets.