Chief Michael Harmon will begin his new position on May 29 and 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," Harmon said. "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!"
Harmon began his law enforcement career as a deputy/corrections officer with the Travis County Sheriff's Office 27 years ago before serving as a patrol officer with the Austin ISD Police Department in 1998. That same year, he joined the Cedar Park Police Department as a patrol officer, moving up the ranks to Assistant Chief in 2013. He has most recently served as the interim police chief. Harmon will lead a department of 100 sworn officers and 33 civilian personnel, and manage an annual budget of approximately $17 million.
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, says the city. 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 and says it received 1,029 combined survey responses, in English and in Spanish. The city says that 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 adapted to the community's distinct needs and preferences because Cedar Park is different from surrounding communities.