Mayor Malik Announces Important Update to Police Chief Search

Akron, Ohio, March 4, 2024  — Today, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik announced an update to the city’s police chief search:  

“Over the last two months, our City Law Department has reviewed state and local law, and their best legal advice, and the opinion of outside counsel, is that state and local law do not give the city clear authority to appoint an external police chief. As such, we will continue with an internal search for Akron’s next police chief, accepting applications from Deputy Chiefs and Captains. If multiple Deputy Chiefs apply, we cannot consider Captains. 

While I had hoped to cast the widest possible net for this position, this decision is being made based on the best legal advice available to me. The penalty for willfully violating Ohio Revised Code provisions on police promotions is removal from office, and our City Charter does not clearly conflict with state law on this issue. While the city has had two prior police chiefs appointed externally, I believe that was done based on the best understanding at the time. Going forward, my administration will review practice across the state and may propose a charter amendment this fall to define our city’s authority around external hires. However, I do not want our city to have an Acting Chief for a year, and I am confident that an internal search will identify an excellent leader for the Akron Police Department. 

 I promised when I took on this position that I would be as transparent as possible with our community and that when challenges arose, we would face them head on. That’s exactly what we are doing. We will continue to engage with our community on the direction of our Akron Police Department and how we can continue to build trust and transparency as a city government.”  

Applications for the position have been extended until March 18, 2024. Interested and qualified internal candidates may apply by sending their resume, cover letter, salary history, and six professional references to Ralph Andersen & Associates via The application is open to Deputy Chiefs and Captains.  

The survey deadline has also been extended to March 18. The survey is available online here. The survey is available in Spanish here, in Arabic here, and in Nepali here It is also available at City of Akron community centers, click here for a list of community centers.  To date, 1,514 community surveys have been filled out and turned in.  

The city’s ideal candidate will: 

  • Have demonstrated the ability to hold others accountable to values characterized by a commitment to integrity, honesty, transparency, humility, proactivity, innovation, equity, compassion, service excellence, and responsive leadership; 
  • Have extensive knowledge of complex urban environments and a demonstrated commitment to equitably serving, recruiting minority candidates, and working with all spectrums of multi-racial, multi-cultural, multireligious, and socioeconomically diverse communities; 
  • Exhibit outstanding communication skills; be hands-on, open, and receptive to working with people to create and sustain an environment of trust and respect; 
  • Possess the ability to be politically and technologically savvy, and have the ability to receive constructive criticism; 
  • Demonstrate the ability to make decisions based on facts and merit; 
  • Display a demonstrated commitment to community-oriented policing and problem solving, staff development, and morale-building to set a positive tone within the Department; 
  • Possess a passion for public service and public safety as well as positive futures for all Akron residents; and 
  • Exhibit exceptional leadership and people skills; the ability to work with and establish relationships with a wide range of stakeholder groups, strategic partners, elected officials, colleagues, and the media.