Director of Public Safety

Michael McGrath, Director of Public Safety On February 10, 2014, Michael McGrath was sworn in as the Director of Public Safety of the City of Cleveland after a distinguished career of forty-one years as a law enforcement officer. Safety Director Michael McGrath now has responsibility for the Division of Police, the Division of Fire, the Division of Emergency Medical Service, the Office of Professional Standards and Animal Control Services.

After serving as a police officer in both East Cleveland and Strongsville, McGrath graduated as Top Cadet from the Cleveland Police Academy in June, 1981 and he was assigned to Cleveland’s First District, where he later became a Strike Force Detective. In 1985, McGrath was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the Fourth District. Two years later, he was assigned to the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT). While handling the rigorous demands of SWAT, he developed several long gun certification and training courses. He was also instrumental in the training of numerous tactical units throughout northeast Ohio. McGrath’s managerial and organizational expertise led to his appointment as Commander of the Fourth Neighborhood District in 1997.

The Fourth District provided a tremendous learning experience for the new Commander. As Commander, McGrath developed an accountability system to track Part 1 crimes and citizen complaints. He sought the expertise of business leaders, community groups, social service organizations, and governmental agencies to work collaboratively to decrease crime. He was instrumental in using the Children Who Witness Violence program and the Domestic Violence Project to provide his personnel with additional social services. Finally, McGrath motivated his staff to implement technology the Mobile Computer Project - to increase the efficiency of his workforce.

On March 30, 2005, McGrath was sworn in as the 39th Police Chief of the City of Cleveland. During his tenure as Chief, he guided the Division of Police through significant and positive change, including:

  • A realignment of the police districts, from six districts to five;
  • Launching the Fusion Center and the use of crime data analysis to strategically address crime in the city;
  • Establishing an Early Intervention Protocol;
  • Developing protocol and implementing the use of non-lethal weapons (TASERS) by front line officers; and,
  • Significant review and revision of critical policies and general police orders, including the use of force and investigations of sex crimes and missing persons. As Chief, McGrath built strong partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and community organizations, including Stand Together Against Neighborhood Crime (STANCE) and VGRIP to address crime and improve public safety in the neighborhoods.

During his career, McGrath has received several awards, including community service awards, distinguished service medals, merit awards, the Medal of Heroism, the Medal of Honor, and a Congressional Certificate of Recognition. He serves on several executive and advisory boards, including the Family Justice Center and Human Trafficking Projects, the Children Who Witness Violence Program, Family to Family Care Program and the advisory board for the Cleveland Police Foundation. McGrath holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from John Carroll University.