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Latest Interim RPD Chief Announces Priorities

Patti Singer
pattisinger@minorityreporter.net

David Smith, who was named interim police chief upon the resignation of Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan effective Oct. 13, announced his priorities for leading the department.

A news release dated Oct. 18 listed eight “short term goals of the Rochester Police Department.”

Any agenda would necessarily be short term, as the chief is appointed by the mayor. Mayor Lovely Warren appointed Herriott-Sullivan after she fired La’Ron Singletary in the wake of the public announcement made by the family of Daniel Prude of his death.

Presumptive Mayor Malik Evans would be appointing his own chief. There was no immediate response to an email to Evans’ communications director asking about his reaction to Smith’s priorities or Evans’ plans to name a chief.

Smith’s priorities were listed as:

  • continue to work on compliance with the state’s Executive Order 203;
  • enhance recruitment, specifically in regard to minority candidates;
  • continue the work begun by Herriott-Sullivan to modify the hiring process to include community input;
  • continue to strategically target known violent offenders in an effort to reduce violence;
  • continue to work with federal and local partners to pursue federal criminal charges where and when appropriate;
  • expand the department’s media capabilities to enhance transparency;
  • evaluate the department’s core functions and identify more efficient ways of operating due to the current personnel shortages; and
  • institute an officer wellness program.

Smith has been with RPD since 1992, when he was a patrol officer on the midnight shift in Genesee Section. He has held the ranks of officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander and deputy chief prior to being named interim chief.

According to the RPD release, Smith was among the first group of bicycle patrol officers and developed the training program that still is used. Smith is an advocate of building community relationships through foot and bicycle patrols, and encouraging officers to volunteer for community programs.