News Release - Mayor Adds Stronger Community Relations Role at RPD

City of Rochester

News Release

Deputy Chief and Promotions to Help Bolster Chief’s Ongoing Efforts to Connect with and Engage Citizens

(Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016) -- Mayor Lovely A. Warren and Chief Michael Ciminelli announced today the creation of a new Deputy Chief of Community Relations post in the Rochester Police Department. This new position will add to Mayor Warren’s and Chief Ciminelli’s efforts to seek more ways to connect with and engage citizens. Current Deputy Chief Wayne Harris will transition to fill this new role.

“I believe Deputy Chief Harris will be a good fit in this new role where I hope he will combine the professionalism of the Rochester Police Department with a focus on community engagement,” said Mayor Warren. “As the Rochester Police Department continues to make strides in my commitment to forge a stronger bond with the community it serves, I know this new position will give Chief Ciminelli yet another tool to fully engage every corner of our community. I am looking forward to the new RPD community-relations initiatives we will develop, which are sure to advance our goals of creating more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities in our city.”

“At a time when we see the relationships between police departments and communities across our country become strained, we must make every effort to maintain and advance the level of trust between our police officers and the community,” Mayor Warren added. “The creation of this position at the deputy chief level represents an incredible investment toward building that trust in Rochester.”

In his new role, Deputy Chief Harris will report directly to Chief Ciminelli to provide top-level coordination of the RPD’s approaches to improve its Community Oriented Policing initiatives. Under Mayor Warren’s direction, the RPD has made major investments in two major projects to improve police-community relations – the implementation of neighborhood-based Five Section Patrol model and the establishment of the Body Worn Camera Program. Chief Harris will coordinate these initiatives with other outreach activities, evaluate their effectiveness and recommend enhancements.

He will also work closely with Patrol Sections, Neighborhood Service Centers and all RPD personnel to ensure community concerns are communicated directly to the Office of the Chief and are addressed properly.

“The introduction of this position represents the natural progression of the Department’s many successful community outreach initiatives,” Chief Michael Ciminelli said. “Community safety and trust are our priorities and we believe the addition of this position will further augment our work to build strong bonds between police and residents under the Mayor’s vision.”

“I am looking forward to working directly with the Rochester community to make our neighborhoods safer and more vibrant,” said Deputy Chief Harris. “I want to thank Mayor Warren and Chief Ciminelli for giving me the opportunity to develop this important new position in the Rochester Police Department.”

Deputy Chief Harris had been the Deputy Chief of Administration since 2014.

In addition to a variety of patrol assignments, Deputy Chief Harris has also served in the Professional Standards Section, the Southeast Neighborhood Service Center, as Northwest Quadrant Captain, and Commanding Officer of Patrol Division West before being appointed Deputy Chief in 2014. The Police Foundation’s Leadership Development Program in Washington, D.C. appointed Harris to a Research Fellowship. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management from Roberts Wesleyan College and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is also a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Lt. Mark Simmons will be promoted to Deputy Chief to lead RPD’s Administration Bureau. This position oversees a number of critical functions, including policy development, budget, training, personnel management, labor relations, and vehicle fleet management, grant management, emergency planning, and police facility management. Lt. Simmons is currently serving as Commanding Officer of the Professional Standards Section. He has served in various patrol assignments, the Organized Violence Reduction Team, the Tactical Unit, and as Chief of Staff to the Chief of Police. He also served as Coordinator of RPD’s Reorganization Project and is also a member of NOBLE.

Lt. Henry Favor will be assigned as the new Commanding Officer of RPD’s Professional Standards Section, where he will be responsible to supervise investigations of complaints of police actions and allegations of employee misconduct. Lt. Favor is currently serving as Commanding Officer of the Lake Section’s First Platoon. Lt. Favor has served in a variety of patrol assignments, as well as the Tactical Unit and SWAT Team.


News Media: For more information, contact Press Officer Jessica Alaimo at 428-7135.


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