AKRON, Ohio — After a month of public engagement and stakeholder interviews, the City of Akron has hired Stephen L. Mylett, a former police chief of Bellevue, Washington, with 32 years of law enforcement experience, as the chief of the Akron Police Department, Mayor Dan Horrigan announced on Thursday.
“Steve’s experience and approach to leadership emerged as the right fit at the right time,” Horrigan said. “Steve is a demonstrated man of integrity, a successful leader of police personnel, and an engaged member of the communities he serves. Steve understands the challenges that Akron faces to reduce violent crime and increase community trust. I have confidence that he will quickly earn the respect of both the Department and the citizens of Akron, and I look forward to introducing him to our community, and each of Akron’s welcoming and diverse neighborhoods.”
Mylett was recruited through a nationwide search and was selected as one of four finalists for the position through an internal interview process. He holds a bachelor's degree in Applied Arts and Sciences from Midwestern State University in Texas and a master's degree in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management from Sam Houston State University.
As police chief of the Akron Police Department, his base salary will be $144,788 per year, according to the city. The city authorized an additional $29,722 annual bonus.
A native of Long Island, New York, Mylett served in the Air Force before starting his career in law enforcement in 1989 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Moving up the ranks, he became assistant chief of police of that department in 2011. In 2015, he was hired by the City of Southlake, Texas, where he served as police chief until 2015. Since 2015, he has served as the chief of police of the Bellevue Police Department in the state of Washington.
He and his wife JoAnn, who have been married for 30 years, are in the process of moving to Akron. Together they have four children and two grandchildren.
“I am honored at the opportunity to serve the Akron community and the officers of the APD as your next Chief of Police,” Mylett said in a statement. “In the past month, I have had the opportunity to visit this city and found Akron to be a welcoming community whose leaders truly care about those they have the privilege to serve. I am very happy to be joining the Akron team.”
Horrigan said that during a public town hall and in a community survey that garnered nearly 1,500 responses, community members expressed the need for a chief who prioritizes inclusive policing and develops effective strategies to reduce crime and violence in the city.
While chief of the Bellevue Police Department, Horrigan said Mylett restructured the department and implemented the “Bellevue Police Department’s Tomorrows Program" that established new coalitions with minority communities and reduce crime for five consecutive years.
“During the interview process, I was impressed with Steve’s openness to civilian oversight and his history of reaching out to communities with historic distrust of law enforcement,” deputy mayor Marco Sommerville said. “Through the public town hall and private stakeholder conversations, Steve emerged as a strong and ethical leader who will work hard to connect with the Akron community.”
Mylett will officially start on Aug. 9. The city said more information about a swearing-in ceremony will be provided in the coming weeks.
The Akron Police Department is hiring officers. Starting salary begins at $58,864, which reaches $68,764 in three years. Cadets are paid during their time in the police academy and are offered college tuition through the city’s workforce development program. Apply here.
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