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Police Citizens Advisory Committee brings resident cross-section to the table

MADISON – Nine members of the new resident-police group, Madison Police Citizens Advisory Committee, will bring varied backgrounds to the table at the first public meeting on Sept. 29.

The committee, tasked to promote dialogue between police and residents, will convene at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers of City Hall. The agenda will cover nominations for chairman, vice chairman and secretary, along with review of training, goals and adoption of bylaws.

“Forming this committee was another positive step in building communication between our citizens and their local government,” Mayor Paul Finley said. “We’re enthusiastic about committee engagement and willingness to serve.” The mayor, City Council and chief of police selected committee members.

Marc Highsmith, Finley’s appointed member, is happy “to sit on this committee and actively serve Madison. Our priority will be to build trust and transparency between our residents and officers that work diligently to keep our community safe.”

Police Chief Johnny Gandy is optimistic that steps are in progress “to further connect our department to the public. Committee members are passionate and equipped to facilitate a spirit of partnership and communication.”

Committee meetings are open to the public. After the meeting, residents can talk to committee members:

* District 1, Curtis Potts — Recently retired from SAIC as a Vice President for Business Operations. Potts, his wife and two daughters are 12-years residents of Madison. He has served with Madison County Planning Citizen Advisory Board, Huntsville and Madison County Leadership Program, Rotary Club of Madison and Madison Reserve Police Force.

Potts holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from U.S. Army War College. He retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army with 29 years of service including three combat tours.

* District 2, Sara Browder — Works as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Senior Consultant with JP Enterprises LLC. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in public policy from Northwestern University.

Browder has 10 years of experience with root cause analysis, corrective action development and performance improvement. She volunteers with Village of Promise and American Red Cross Disaster Relief. She and husband Jeff have two children.

* District 3, Billie Goodson – Has lived in Madison County since 2007. He is a member of Madison Station Historical Preservation Society and Madison United Methodist Church. Goodson earned a bachelor’s degree at University of South Alabama. He served in National Guard and Army Reserve as enlistee and officer.

He has a deep interest in law enforcement. He and wife Susan are parents of four daughters and have 10 grandchildren.

* District 4, Frank Fletcher — Retired from Amoco Chemical in Decatur after 30 years. After attending school in Madison County, he studied at Calhoun Community College and Albertson Broughton College in Huntsville. Fletcher served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

Fletcher promises to keep an unbiased voice in police matters. He and his wife have four children.

* District 5, Dwayne Craft – A native of Madison County, Craft taught technical theatre for many years at Bob Jones High School and now works in that field at Calhoun Community College. Craft is a published playwright and an accomplished actor in community theatre. He studied at Athens State University, Florida State University and University of Alabama at Birmingham. He and his wife have two children.

* District 6, Rebecca Colon Franz – Served in officer slots, including president, with PTA at Horizon Elementary School. Franz actively volunteers at St. Matthew Episcopal Church in various capacities, including Senior Warden. She is involved with a new ministry, Beloved Community.

An Army veteran, Franz served in country and in Germany. She has police and firefighter training. She, her husband (both disabled veterans) and her sons have lived in Madison for 11 years.

* District 7, Arthur Brackett.

* Mayor’s appointment, Marc Highsmith – Retired from U.S. Army after 21 years as a Lieutenant Colonel. He worked as Inspector General at Redstone Arsenal. Highsmith earned a bachelor’s degree at Missouri Western State University and a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Highsmith has worked as an adjunct professor at Alabama A&M University. He is a member of Rotary Club of Madison, Alpha Phi Alpha and volunteer with Friends of Africa in Djibouti, Africa. He and his wife are parents of two children.

* Police Chief’s appointment, Rajiv Sharma – A native of India but grew up in Nashville. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree from Emory University. He has worked at Deutsche Bank in New York City and locally for Raytheon and SAIC. He and his wife, a family physician, are parents of one daughter.


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