The man designated by Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren to be the next police chief says he was inspired by watching the men and women in blue uniforms head in and out of the department's Genesee Section Office in Bull's Head Plaza.
- La'Ron Singletary's father bought him a police scanner as a child.
- He was sworn onto the force at 20-years-old.
- He will be confirmed as RPD's new police chief in a few weeks.
Interim Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary is expected to be confirmed by city council in the coming weeks. The 39-year-old John Marshall High School, MCC, Brockport, and Keuka College graduate would become the youngest to serve in the role.
Sworn onto the force at age 20, Singletary has already served as public information officer.
Spectrum News caught up with him on a morning in which he served as the face of the RPD at a City Hall event.
Reporter: Should you be confirmed by city council as Rochester's next police chief, what is job one?
Singletary: "There is so much going on in law-enforcement. It’s trying to get people to see us in a different light, and we need to try something new. We need to do some innovative things. One of the things that I want to do is bridge this gap that is sometimes seen in the community and across this country as: no matter whether it happens here in Rochester, it can happen in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, it has an impact for law-enforcement here.
We have to deal with some ramifications of things that are not necessarily occurring here in Rochester. It may occur somewhere else. So as a leader in law-enforcement I have to be able to motivate the troops, ensure that this community has trust in me and the men and women who are under me."
Reporter: You have said your family forged who you are, especially your parents. How did that lead to their support of what you wanted to do in life?
Singletary: "My dad was one of the individuals who said grades matter. If you get good grades you can get anything you want. My brother was an athlete in the family. He got him baseball, basketball and football gear. I played one year of high school football. My father knew I wanted to be a police officer so he got me a police scanner."
Reporter: You became a "scanner head?"
Singletary: "I used to ride around the city on my bicycle, listen to the police scanner and jump calls... respond to calls in the community when listening to the scanner. So I knew I wanted to be a police officer at a very young age, and that’s what I try to tell you today. Know what you want to do."
Reporter: What inspired you to pursue policing?
Singletary: "I remember going up to the Genesee section office in Bullshead Plaza. I would watch the officers get out of their cars for shift change. It was fascinating to me. I knew I wanted to do it. Watching the TV show "Cops" with my grandfather, I would sit on the couch dangling my feet and I’d say 'Granddad, I’m going to be one of those.'"
Reporter: Do you believe your route to this position can inspire some in Rochester who never had the support you had at home?
Singletary: "Some people in Rochester don't have that support so, if I can be a beacon of hope— that person, that inspiration, an RCSD grad from John Marshall High School— Look at me, police chief of a city I grew up in. It's remarkable. It is real.
Perception is reality. Some of these kids don’t have anyone to look up to. It is real.
It is so important that we must use our position in our society to continue to go out there and be a beacon of hope to be real change, to be that real role model for that individual. To be that mentor, it’s so crucial. We need to be in the classroom. And we are working in with the Rochester School District to see what we can do as a law enforcement entity."