Reactions come in on new interim chief
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced Saturday morning that former Executive Lieutenant Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan will be the Department’s new Interim Chief. She’s now the second interim chief named since Warren fired La’Ron Singletary from the position two weeks ago.
For the first time in its history, the Rochester Police Department will be led in the interim by an African-American woman.
"I am extremely pleased to inform you that I’m appointing Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan to serve as the new interim chief of police of the Rochester Police Department," said Warren.
Herriott-Sullivan joined the force in 1985, and served 24 years before retiring. She last held the position of Executive Lieutenant in the Office of the Chief. Her appointment comes with major hurdles to overcome, though.
"I know these are tough times right now, but I believe strongly that if we all bring our best to the table, you know we’ll be able to get it done," Herriott-Sullivan said.
Many leaders in the community welcomed news of her appointment.
"I thought it was a good decision to start moving people around on the blueprint, and people who were less connected to the Daniel Prude incident," Rev. Myra Brown, Pastor of Spiritus Christi Church, said. "I think it does allow for the community to be less triggered by someone new coming in."
"I hope that they would give her a chance, the opportunity to show what she can do, and to demonstrate herself as an effective, and efficient officer," United Christian Leadership Ministry’s Rev. Lewis Stewart said.
Not everyone is fully onboard with Herriott-Sullivan taking over the department’s leadership, though. Free The People ROC, and Black Lives Matter shared their feelings before they marched through the city.
"Having a new interim chief does not address a cover-up, a murder. It does not address what’s going on in the streets. It does not address the systemic and institutional racism that police officers continue to perpetuate," organizer Stanley Martin said.
Herriott-Sullivan begins her new position on Oct. 14. No word on how long she will lead the department.