ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Police will have a new leader as current Chief Michael Ciminelli is resigning.

Mayor Lovely Warren has tapped current deputy chief Mark Simmons, 38, who was born and raised here in Rochester, went to school in the city and came up through the ranks of RPD, to serve as chief in the interim until a permanent selection is made.

"We're going into the future and I think that Mark Simmons will lead us into the future as interim and as I said, I encourage him to apply as well as anyone else that feels that they can lead our department," she said.

"I know these neighborhoods, know these streets, have family and friends who still live in this community. So I understand both aisles of the communication divide,” Simmons said. “I think I can help bridge that gap because I also understand the perspective of a police officer. Like I said, I've worked these streets, I worked these neighborhoods and know that our officers go every day and put their lives on the line."

Chief Ciminelli was first appointed to the post by Mayor Lovely Warren in March of 2014. Prior to becoming chief, he had served as deputy chief and commanding officer of the special operations division.

 

 

"It has been my great honor to serve the citizens of Rochester, Mayor Warren and my fellow officers at RPD," Ciminelli said in the release. "I have been grateful for the opportunity to serve locally in law enforcement and now look forward to the opportunity to once again serve at the federal level."

Ciminelli previously worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency and is now returning the Washington D.C. area where his three daughters live.

This change comes during some public turmoil within the RPD, just a week after two police officers were suspended without pay over allegations of excessive force.

Police body cam footage of that incident is being reviewed by the DA and could lead to criminal charges.  A national search will be held for a permanent chief.