Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced Friday that Dallas, Texas, Police Major Malik Aziz will be the county’s next chief of police. 

Aziz will replace Deputy Chief Hector Velez on May 9 once confirmed by the county council. The announcement marks the end of a national nine-month search following the resignation of former Police Chief Hank Stawinski in June amid reports of racism in the department.

Results of a community survey for this search showed county residents want a police chief who would take ownership of department actions, have integrity and care about the community, Alsobrooks said. Community members also hoped for someone who has previously worked on creating community relationships and managing a similarly sized county.

“He has all of the qualities that I, our police department, and our community were looking for in our next chief of police,” Alsobrooks said.

Aziz has worked in the Dallas Police Department for 29 years, managing multiple divisions and units during his tenure. He is a national expert in community policing and has a record of crime reduction. Aziz has been in the running for multiple chief positions across the nation. 

[Prince George’s County Police chief resigns after allegations of racism in the department]

“After that final interview, I was so convinced that he was the right choice and just wanted to move forward very quickly because we didn’t want to lose him to other jurisdictions,” Alsobrooks said. “He is sought after around the country.”

Multiple police reform groups have endorsed Aziz, who was on President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. He has also been national chair and executive director of the National Black Police Association. Aziz will be the first permanent county police chief of color since Roberto Hylton, who left the department in 2010. According to the county health department, 62 percent of the county’s population is Black.

The county is currently involved in a racial discrimination lawsuit and the backlash of multiple racially charged incidents in the county. 

“We know, we acknowledge, we have never hidden from the fact that we also have very serious issues in our department similar to other departments across the nation,” Alsobrooks said.

Alsobrooks created the Police Reform Work Group, dedicated to policy change and strengthening community relationships, in 2020. As of March 2021, 46 of 50 recommendations have been adopted by the county.