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Karl Colder named new Huntington Police chief

The retired DEA special agent says one of his goals is to change the way the city is portrayed.
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Retired federal law enforcement officer Karl Colder has been named the new chief of the Huntington Police Department.

Mayor Steve Williams placed his choice to Huntington City Council at a special meeting Monday night. Council unanimously approved Colder’s selection.

Karl Colder
Karl Colder(City of Huntington)

Colder has more than 30 years of experience working with the Drug Enforcement Agency and will be the first Black police chief in Huntington’s history.

He replaces Acting Chief Eric Corder who took the reins following the retirement of former Chief Ray Cornwell.

“I don’t think I’m old enough to retire, and I really want to continue, and this is a great way to do it,” Colder said.

Williams said Colder’s law enforcement history, including with substance abuse issues, helped make him the ideal candidate as chief.

“He has enough contacts throughout the country, throughout state government, federal government, he knows the land upon which we are operating right now here in Huntington, West Virginia,” Mayor Williams said. “He is familiar with our city. He’s not an unfamiliar face.”

When asked why he wanted to be Huntington’s police chief, Colder mentioned seeing documentaries that portrayed Huntington in a negative light.

“One of my goals was to really change that culture, change the way the city was portrayed,” Colder said.

Colder says his first order of business will be to meet with all the command staff at HPD bright and early at 7 a.m. Tuesday. He says he wants to know what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest on this developing story.

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