AKRON, Ohio — Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced Tuesday the names of the four finalists for the city's chief of police.
The next chief of police in Akron will be an outside hire. All four finalists are all from outside of Ohio.
The four finalists for chief of police are:
- Eric David Hawkins, chief of the Albany (NY) Police Department
- Joseph P. Sullivan, recently retired deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia (PA) Police Department
- Stephen L. Mylett, chief of the Bellevue (WA) Police Department
- Christopher A. Davis, deputy chief of the Portland (OR) Police Bureau
One of these four finalists will replace Chief Ken Ball who retired in February.
Horrigan will conduct a community town hall with the four finalists on June 17 at 5:30 p.m. that will be livestreamed on YouTube.
“I am impressed with the pool of qualified candidates who applied to be our next Chief of Police,” Horrigan said in a statement. “I am looking for an individual who has the experience, temperament, and integrity to drive this department forward. We face significant challenges related to violent crime and strained community trust, and we need a chief who places a primary value on transparency, inclusion, and crime prevention, and who is prepared to drive change where needed. They must be a listener and a leader at the highest level.”
During the hiring process, Akron has gathered community input. On Tuesday, the city announced the findings of its survey. While the vast majority of respondents were Akron residents, 15.7% of those surveyed did not live in the city.
Racially, the survey had a lower rate of Black respondents. Seventeen percent of respondents identified as Black. Black residents make up 30% of Akron’s population, according to U.S. Census data.
After garnering 1,427 responses from the community, the city found the community’s top three priorities for the department should be reducing police use of force, reducing racial disparities and community-oriented policing.
Respondents, overall, gave the Akron Police high marks. Sixty-seven percent of responses said they had good or excellent interactions with police compared to 24% who said their interactions were poor or fair.
While interactions with police were generally positive, a majority of respondents, 56.2%, said they felt less safe in Akron compared to 2.5% who said they felt safer.