• City of Cedar Park selects Michael Harmon as Police Chief

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    May 13, 2021
    City of Cedar Park selects Michael Harmon as Police Chief
    Chief Harmon brings 27 years’ law enforcement experience to position
     
    The City of Cedar Park has named its current Interim Police Chief Michael Harmon Chief of the Cedar Park Police Department.  Chief Harmon will begin his new position on May 29, 2021.
     
    Chief Harmon says he is looking forward to his new role. “I would like to thank the City of Cedar Park for their confidence in my leadership throughout the past 15 months, and especially through the Chief’s selection process. I also want to thank my officers, command staff, and civilian personnel for their support and encouragement over the past years. I plan to extend my focus on the critically important issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity that will strengthen our mission to serve the people who live, work, and play in Cedar Park. Together we have worked hard to serve our community with honor and I am incredibly proud to take on this new role and to call Cedar Park my home!”
     
    Cedar Park City Manager Brenda Eivens adds, “I am pleased to name Mike Harmon as Chief of our City’s Police Department. Mike’s law enforcement experience, focus on high public safety standards and best practices make him an ideal leader. Keeping Cedar Park safe remains a high priority and Chief Harmon has demonstrated his commitment and focus to achieve the goal.”
     
    Chief Harmon began his law enforcement career with the Travis County Sherriff’s Office as a Deputy/Corrections Officer in 1994 before moving to the Austin Independent School District Police Department in 1998 where he served as a patrol officer. He joined the Cedar Park Police Department in 1998 as a patrol officer and moved rapidly up the ranks to the Assistant Chief position in 2013 and most recently serves as the Interim Chief of Police. In Cedar Park, he will lead a department of 100 sworn officers and 33 civilian personnel, and manage an annual budget of approximately $17M. Chief Harmon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Texas State University and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from Mountain State University.  He is a graduate of the 254th session of the FBI National Academy, the Leadership Command College (Law Enforcement Management of Texas), and the Senior Management Institute for Police presented by the Police Executive Research Forum. He has earned a Master certification with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE), is a certified mental health officer and holds a secret clearance through the Department of Homeland Security. 
     
    As part of the Police Chief recruitment process, the City invited community members to share what is most important to them in the ideal Chief candidate.  The City received 1,029 combined survey responses, in English and in Spanish.  Overarching themes seen in the survey results were
    inclusion and the ability to work with diverse populations and a range of perspectives, familiarity with progressive programs in de-escalation strategies, community-oriented policing and experience in dealing with mental health issues. The survey also found that a Chief who is engaged with the community and whose officers are present in neighborhoods are high priorities. Additionally, residents expressed a desire for a policing approach that was adapted to this community’s distinct needs and preferences because Cedar Park is different from surrounding communities.
     
    “After a deliberative and extensive search process involving candidates from across the country, it became clear that Chief Harmon is the right choice to lead our City’s largest and most visible department into the future. His strong credentials and proven leadership, particularly over the last fifteen months he has served as Interim Chief, have been tested. I am confident that Chief Harmon will continue to effectively lead the department, foster valuable community partnerships and actively engage with all of our residents,” Cedar Park City Manager Brenda Eivens says.