Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced today that Police Chief Lisa Myers will retire on Nov. 30, 2021. Myers was appointed Chief in February of 2019.
“Chief Myers has led our police department for a transformative three years and has gone above beyond to keep our community safe and ensure our residents feel safe,” said Ball. “Her commitment to community policing and efforts to bring more transparency to our police force has reinforced our Department’s reputation as one of the best in the Nation. We will certainly miss her and her leadership but wish Chief the best in her retirement.”
During her tenure, Chief Myers oversaw reductions in the total number of violent crimes and property crimes in the county. Since 2019, Howard County has seen decreases in aggravated assaults, robberies, human trafficking, burglaries and auto theft, among other categories.
“We have seen a decrease in most major crime categories over the last few years,” said Chief Myers. “I have felt fortunate to lead an agency so committed to safety, integrity, equity and a sense of security for all of the people we serve in Howard County. Nothing has made me more proud over the last three decades than being a part of this organization and I know we have set a path for continued great success.”
Between 2017 and September 2021, Howard County has seen significant crime reductions across categories, including:
- A 62% decrease in robbery
- A 51% decrease in aggravated assault
- A 71% decrease in burglary
- A 29% decrease in auto theft
Chief Myers took on many other challenges in her time leading the police department, including:
- Addressing emerging national issues around police-community relations, racial equity and appropriate use of force, and approving programs like:
- Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) to redirect low-level offenders and reduce contact with the criminal justice system when possible;
- Communications Assisted Referral to Counseling (CIRC) to send mental health 911 calls directly to support services in lieu of a police response; and
- ICAT Training expansion (Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics) for officers to use best and safest practices to diffuse critical incidents.
- Prioritizing technology by implementing a drone program; partnering with the Howard County Public School System to add exterior enforcement cameras to school buses; adding Next Generation 911 to the dispatch center to allow voice, photos, videos and text messages from the public; and launching a body worn camera program;
- Managing a dynamic and flexible response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Implementing internal and physical reorganization to enhance efficiency and align operational components, including the creation of a Professional Standards Bureau and Wellness Coordinator;
- Maintaining national “Advanced Meritorious” accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and achieving first-time national accreditation for the HCPD crime lab.
Chief Myers is a 31-year veteran of the Howard County Police Department. She first retired from the agency as a Captain in 2018 but returned the following year to take on the role as Chief. County Executive Ball appointed her as the first African-American and first woman as Chief of Police in Howard County, and one of the first in the state. Before 2018, she was the commander of the Human Resources Bureau, overseeing Employment Services and the Education and Training Division.
Chief Myers began her career with HCPD in 1990 as a civilian crime lab technician. She entered the police academy in 1994 and worked in various components of the police department, including as the Chief of Staff, Patrol Division Watch Commander, supervisor of Youth Services, Public Information Officer and Community Officer. She has been an exceptional communicator with notable success in management of operations focused on lowering crime and building community partnerships.
During her career, she has represented the police department in labor management negotiations and on multiple boards to include the Howard County Police Foundation, Citizens Advisory Council, African American Community Roundtable, Asian American and Pacific Islander Workgroup, Human Trafficking Prevention Council, Law Enforcement Body Worn Camera Task Force, Local Children’s Board and the selection committee for the Anti-Defamation League SHIELD awards.
Additional information will be forthcoming about an interim Chief in the coming weeks.
Chief Myers will be missed by many in Howard County.