Mayor Malik Names Brian Harding as the Next Chief of the Akron Police Department

Akron, Ohio, May 17, 2024  — Following several months of public engagement and an evolving search process, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik has named current Deputy Chief/Acting Chief Brian Harding as the next Chief of the Akron Police Department. The city will hold an official swearing-in ceremony for Chief Harding during the week of May 27, with more details to follow.  

“I believe Chief Harding’s experience, work ethic, integrity, and heart for public service make him the right person to lead the Akron Police Department,” said Mayor Malik. “He will be a key partner in implementing our administration’s vision for public safety, including strengthening APD’s efforts to combat violence, building trust and accountability, refocusing on community policing, and prioritizing recruitment and retention of a strong, effective, and diverse workforce. I am thankful for Chief Harding’s service and his continued commitment to our city.” 

“I am honored to serve the Akron community, and the officers and civilian staff of the Akron Police Department as the next Chief of Police," said Chief Harding. "This is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I plan to work closely with our team and our community as we take strides together to create the city we all want.”  

Chief Harding attended the University of Akron where he earned his bachelor’s degree in technical education with an associate degree in criminal justice. He has 28 years of law enforcement experience and has been with the Akron Police Department since 1995. He has been promoted several times throughout his tenure and was most recently promoted to Deputy Chief in November of 2021. Harding is a recent graduate of Leadership Akron Class 39, has attended the Police Executive Leadership College, and is a current board member of Victim Assistance. He has been married to his wife Michelle for 28 years and they have two children. 

In the coming weeks, Mayor Malik and Chief Harding will share important next steps in the implementation of the administration’s public safety priorities, as well as responses to community feedback received during the search process.   

Stephanie Marsh, Director of Communications or 330-256-1191