Darrel W. Stephens - Executive Director
Darrel Stephens was appointed the Executive Director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association on October 1, 2010. He also is a member of the faculty of the Public Safety Leadership Program in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University where he has served as an Instructor since June, 2008.
He is an accomplished police executive with over 40 years of experience. His career began as a police officer in Kansas City, Missouri in 1968. In addition to his police experience he served for 2 years as the City Administrator in St. Petersburg, Florida -- a community of 250,000 people -- where he was responsible for a work force of approximately 3000 employees and a budget of $380 million. He has 22 years experience in a police executive capacity including almost nine years from September, 1999 to June, 2008 as the Chief of Police of the 2100 member Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). In addition he served as the Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum from 1986 until 1992.
Perhaps best known for advancing innovative approaches to policing, Stephens has earned a national reputation as a leader in policing. He served as the President, Vice President and Legislative Committee Chair of the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association while Chief in Charlotte. Throughout his career, he has taken on difficult and challenging opportunities, and championed strategic technology investments to enhance employee productivity.
He has written extensively about policing, consulted extensively and a frequent speaker advocating progressive policing approaches. He received the prestigious Police Executive Research Forum's Leadership Award and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences O.W. Wilson Award. He was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2005 and frequently is called on to participate in study panels. In 2006 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from Central Missouri State University. He inducted into the Evidence Based Policing Hall of Fame in 2010 and also received the Distinguished Achievement Award Evidence Based Crime Policy.