New York

Rochester Appoints 1st Female Police Chief in Fallout Over Prude Death

Mayor Lovely Warren says Rochester's new interim police chief will be the department's first female in the role

interim police chief of rochester
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Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren named a new interim police chief following the recent termination of Chief La'Ron Singletary in the fallout over the department's handling of and involvement in Daniel Prude's death.

Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan will serve as interim police chief in Rochester effective Oct. 14, Warren announced at a press conference Saturday morning.

"It is abundantly clear that traditional policing practices must be altered and improved to better serve and protect our citizens," Warren said, announcing the new appointment would be "a step forward toward making this much needed change."

Herriott-Sullivan served the Rochester Police Department for 24 years prior to her retirement in 2009 and returns to the police department as the first female chief to occupy the top role, Warren said.

Born and raised in Rochester, Herriott-Sullivan started her police career in 1985 and worked her way up to a lieutenant role before her departure from the force, the mayor added.

"Ironically, I left law enforcement because I wanted to have a bigger hand in helping people stay out of jail rather than putting them in that, so I moved on to roles that helped me in dealing with criminal justice disparities," Herriott-Sullivan said.

"I know these are tough times right now but I believe strongly that if we all bring our best to the table we'll be able to get it done," she added.

Mayor Warren also announced two new appointments to the command staff of the Rochester Police Department: Captain Gabriel Person and Officer Moses Robinson.

The Democrat & Chronicle reports Warren intends to conduct a nationwide search for a permanent chief starting June 2021.

The former police chief was removed from the position almost two weeks ago, unexpectedly, just a couple weeks before his previously announced retirement. Warren announced the decision as she called for sweeping investigations into the department's role in the death of Daniel Prude and the subsequent investigations by Rochester officials.

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