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Local News

 

 May 2024

Community News

5/21/24

Mayor Malik Proposes Voluntary Separation Package
Akron, Ohio, May 20, 2024  — Today, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik presented legislation to City Council that would authorize the Administration to enter into a voluntary separation agreement at the Deputy Chief level. In the coming months, the administration also plans to announce a voluntary separation proposal for officers at the Captain and Lieutenant level. This second phase will require separate approval from City Council, as well as negotiation with the Fraternal Order of Police union.  

 

Voluntary separation packages, sometimes referred to as buyouts, create openings for officers at lower ranks in the department to advance to higher positions. With 387 officers and detectives, 67 sergeants, 20 lieutenants, 10 captains, and 4 deputy chief roles, it is clear that there are few positions at the higher ranks. Allowing for upward movement in the ranks assists with changing culture, bringing new ideas and perspectives into leadership roles. 

 

Voluntary separation packages will also pave the way for the city’s new Police Chief to build a new management structure for Akron Police. “Chief Harding shares my vision to take our police department in a new direction, focused heavily on community policing and forming relationships with our residents,” said Mayor Malik. “This step will allow us to build a team focused on that work.” 

 

The package presented to Council today would allow for a payment of up to $400,000 to one current Deputy Chief. This amount was calculated with recognition of the significant pension income that officers forfeit to retire early, and looking at programs in other Ohio communities, including Columbus. While it is a significant figure, Mayor Malik’s administration believes that continuing to prioritize public safety, and creating the strongest leadership structure, giving officers and supervisors more opportunity to advance in their careers and offer new perspectives is a worthwhile expense.  

 

“I’m very supportive of the Mayor’s vision to increase community policing and engagement with our residents,” said Chief Harding. “Our officers demonstrate dedicated service to our community every day, and while we work on strengthening policing and public safety, we will always seek to show respect to the individual service of each member of our safety forces. It should be noted that these programs are voluntary, and employees are entirely within their rights to remain in their positions."  

Mayor Malik Names Brian Harding As The Next Chief Of The Akron Police Department

  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.   
 

Community News

5/14/24

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Remember, mental health is health. Let's prioritize self-care and destigmatize seeking support. Together, we can break the silence.

This week, Akron Fire Department and Akron Police Department will be conducting Rescue Task Force training scenarios at EJ Thomas Hall. These are considered active shooter drills and as such there will be a large presence of safety force personnel in and about the Hall. Don't be alarmed if you see a lot of police and fire personnel in the area.

Concerts in The Park is back for another season of local music in our our parks. Concerts are free and take place Monday -Friday from 7-9pm. For full schedule https://www.akronohio.gov/.../recreation_and.../events.php

Community News

5/8/24

This month, the City of Akron will begin installing 30 temporary speed tables and 40 more solar speed limit signs throughout the city to mitigate speeding in residential neighborhoods.

We will also be piloting one permanent speed table location on Maple Street in Ward 1.

If you have a street you would like to have considered for the Traffic Calming Program please visit this link: www.akronohio.gov/trafficcalmingrequest

Akron’s Public Art Commission (APAC) is seeking designs from the public to display on traffic light control boxes in various locations across the city. APAC is inviting Akron residents of all ages to submit designs that represent the character, history, and spirit of Akron. 𝗦𝘂𝗯𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝘂𝗲 𝗻𝗼 𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟳. Learn more: https://ayr.app/l/jJG8

The Summer Youth Employment Program connects Summit County youth ages 16-18 with valuable work experiences and an opportunity to earn up to $2,400 during an eight-week period over the summer. Learn about jobs in advanced manufacturing, business, entrepreneurship, early childhood education, healthcare, marketing, travel and tourism and more while earning $15/hour! Apply today. https://ayr.app/l/SGnM

Community News

4/29/24

Akron City Council is following up on its Pilot Doorbell Camera Safety Program and expanding camera distribution to all Akron residents in phase two. Starting this Wednesday, May 1, residents can apply for their free camera via the online application at https://www.akroncitycouncil.org/.../2024-ring-doorbell...

In 2024, Akron will be resurfacing a total of 70 centerline miles of pavement including 50 carryover miles from the 2023 resurfacing program. By focusing primarily on the carryover work, the city will be able to get the program caught up and start 2025 fresh with a full program completed on an efficient, annual basis. Akron has budgeted $3,975,000 for this year’s program for resurfacing and approximately $2.9M for equipment replacement. The resurfacing program does not include concrete or brick roads scheduled for repair since they are not utilizing asphalt however the list does separately show the concrete roads in the patch and match program for 2024. To See The complete City Of Akron 2024 Resurfacing Program Street List go to : https://ayr.app/l/Fr2U

Community News

4/22/24

Looking for a fulfilling career in Public Service?

Apply to join the Akron Police Division by June 28, 2024, at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/akron. Receive cadet basic training from a STAR Academy program. Take charge of your future and apply today. Visit joinakronpolice.com for more information. #NowHiring2024 @akronpolicedept

Know anyone skilled in masonry? We are looking for a Mason with a minimum of three years of experience in masonry. Spread the word about this fantastic opportunity!

In this role, the employee is tasked with cutting, shaping, and placing different types of stone and brick in the building, upkeep, and restoring of various brick and stone structures.

Apply today at https://www.governmentjobs.com/.../jobs/4458088/mason...

The Reporter Newspaper Online 

AkronHipHop.com

presents

For those that are not in the know, we here at Mecca Media Entertainment have decided to take on the responsibility to bring to the community a weekly broadcast for The Reporter Newspaper. The program will be featured weekly here on this page and the home page of this site.

The Reporter Newspaper is an all black operated and black-owned weekly newspaper/publication that's been telling our stories for 50 years. In 2016 The Reporter Newspaper announced that they were available online @thereporternewspaperonline.com which is the online equivalent (website) of the tangible form. 
Now in-conjunction with Mecca Media Inc. you can hear/ see the news being read directly from the website via a weekly broadcast.

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