APCO names new executive director

APCO Chief Technology Officer Being Promoted

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After an exhaustive and competitive nationwide search involving more than 200 applicants, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) is proud to announce the appointment of Mr. Melvin (Mel) Maier as its new executive director.

Maier currently serves as APCO’s chief technology officer and brings more than 33 years of dedicated public safety service to his new role. He worked as a law enforcement officer for 32 years and was the captain and chief of public safety communications for the Oakland County (MI) Sheriff’s Office before joining APCO in March 2022. At Oakland County, Maier led a staff of more than 90 employees and managed a budget in excess of $11 million.

Mr. Maier previously served as the vice chair of the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee, chair of the Funding and Sustainment Committee at SAFECOM, and was a founding member of the Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, of which he is the current chair.

“I am thrilled to be able to promote our next executive director from within the organization and beyond excited to welcome Mel as our new executive director. Having had the opportunity to work with him over the last 16 months, and to see his passion for public safety, dedication to the APCO mission and core values, I have no doubt that Mel will bring the same ethics, energy and innovative ideas to this new role as he has to his entire career,” said Angela Batey, APCO International President.

Maier will work with current Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Derek Poarch over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition. Mr. Poarch, who announced his departure as APCO’s executive director and CEO in January, will retain the title and responsibilities of CEO, while Maier will assume the title of executive director. Upon Mr. Poarch’s departure, Maier will assume both titles and full responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the association.

APCO CEO Derek Poarch commented, “I am so proud of the culture of excellence that the staff of APCO has developed and embraced over the last 11 years that has led to truly remarkable accomplishments, and I am thrilled for Mel and his wife Karen as they undertake this next professional journey. I have total confidence that APCO is being left in most capable hands and believe it won’t miss a beat with Mel as its next executive leader. Kathy and I wish he and Karen great success personally and professionally in the many years to come.”

“I am privileged to have been a part of APCO International both as a member and as part of its professional staff, and I am humbled by the opportunity to serve our membership and elected leadership in this new role,” said APCO Executive Director Mel Maier. “I am a passionate advocate for public safety communications, and I will work tirelessly on behalf of our membership. I want to thank Derek for his leadership and dedication to APCO, as he has built an exceptionally talented team that is positioned to ensure our members are prepared for the future demands and challenges in our unique environment.”

President Batey added, “I am eternally grateful for Derek’s thoughtful planning of his departure and his commitment to always doing what is right for APCO. By providing such significant notice of his departure, Derek allowed us to enter into the search for his successor with the freedom to take a very deliberate approach to the process. Most of all, I am extremely proud and thankful for the work that Derek and his team have done during his tenure not only to grow APCO in monumental and unprecedented ways, but also to take a careful, but aggressive pursuit of initiatives that improve public safety across the board, and to establish a culture of excellence that allowed us to promote an internal candidate. His tenacious insistence on following APCO’s core values has inspired me personally, and the Executive Committee as a whole, to make sure we made the right choice for the association, our members and our unparalleled staff”. 

APCO International

APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide - and the welfare of the general public as a whole.

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