Former police chief Dr. Cedric Alexander named deputy mayor

March 13, 2017 06:41 PM

Mayor Lovely Warren has named former Rochester Police Chief Dr. Cedric Alexander as deputy mayor.

Dr. Alexander served as chief and deputy chief between 2002 and 2005. Since then he has also served as director of public safety in DeKalb County, Georgia. Holding a degree in clinical psychology, he is also regarded as a top expert on police and community relations, and often appears on national news agencies to discuss police issues.

Dr. Alexander also served on former President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

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"I am excited to return to Rochester, a city I have long considered my home," said Dr. Alexander in a release. "And I am looking forward to working with Mayor Warren and her team in City as we fulfill her commitment to the people of Rochester."

Dr. Alexander will replace Carlos Carballada who stepped in as deputy mayor after Leonard Redon stepped down in 2016 to focus on his battle with cancer.

Monday's announcement comes one week after Mayor Warren announced her bid for re-election. She faces another former Rochester police chief in the race, County Legislator James Sheppard, along with former television journalist Rachel Barnhart and Green Party candidate Alex White.

Statement from Rachel Barnhart on move

Lovely Warren’s appointment of Cedric Alexander to the position of deputy mayor is troubling.

Like James Sheppard, Cedric Alexander had a disturbing record leading the Rochester Police Department.

Alexander had SWAT teams in full military gear carrying rifles patrol neighborhoods.He also implemented Operation Law and Order, in which officers “looked for opportunities to search cars and people.” (Democrat and Chronicle, 11/20/2005) These types of “stop and frisk” policies disproportionately impact communities of color, and have not been found to reduce crime.

Alexander appears to be adept at public relations, but little else. Last year, the Chicago Tribune quoted Nelini Stamp, codirector of the minority advocacy group Rise Up Georgia , "It's a tale of two Cedrics. There's Cedric on CNN, who says he cares about community policing, is on the president's task force, and critiques other police forces. Then there's Cedric in the Atlanta area who is not accountable to us."

It’s not clear if Alexander will be solely focused on the huge job of being deputy mayor. He said today he’s interested in renewing his relationship with the University of Rochester. He has also said he intends on continuing his relationship with CNN.

“If we’re serious about improving police community relations, we won’t put people in power with these kinds of track records. I promise to reform the Civilian Review Board, as well as implement true community policing,” said Barnhart.


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