Rochester, NY – While Robert Duffy wrapped up his final hours as Rochester's police chief, Mayor Bill Johnson named one of his two deputies to serve as his temporary replacement.
Johnson named Doctor Cedric Alexander as interim chief. He'll serve until the end of the year, when a new mayor takes over and will appoint new department heads.
Johnson says he and Rochester would have been safe with either Alexander or Deputy Chief Tim Hickey in charge. He says his goal was to name someone who would continue the policies of Duffy and former chief Robert Warshaw, and also have the respect of the men and women of the department.
Johnson says he chose Alexanderin the end partly because he spent both 17 years as a police officer and then became a clinical psychologist. The mayor says someone who is both a sworn officer and a clinician can help carry on the city's efforts to break the cycle of violence affecting so many young African-American men.
Alexander says he's committed to carrying on the work begun by Chief Duffy, and to providing good public safety to the people of Rochester.
He says his career ambition was to be a police chief, but he didn't think it would necessarily be in Rochester. He says right now he's only thinking about the department through December 31st, and won't talk about becoming Rochester's permanent chief until a new mayor is sworn in.
As for Deputy Chief Hickey, Mayor Johnson predicted he'll be a police chief someday. He says he told Robert Duffy the same thing when he appointed Robert Warshaw chief over Duffy in 1994, and Duffy ended up becoming chief in 1998.