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I am a retired sworn law enforcement professional and multi-agency police chief with over 25 years of experience in municipal policing. I served as the Chief of Police for the City of Ithaca Police Department and prior to that served as the Chief of Police for the City of Oneonta Police Department. Both agencies serve vibrant, fast-paced, and progressive cities in Upstate New York.
During my tenure with the City of Oneonta Police Department, I served in the capacities of Patrol Officer, D.A.R.E. Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Interim Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant, and ultimately Chief of Police for nearly five years. For the majority of my career, I also served as a senior instructor in defensive tactics, firearms, physical fitness, and police general topics. While Chief in Oneonta, my Department earned full New York State accreditation, which formed our path to becoming a well-respected and high-performance agency.
Upon retirement in 2017, I assumed the role of Director of Research, Development, and Training for the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. In this capacity, I led the organization’s efforts in improving and advancing the policing profession while serving as a resource for over 500 police chiefs and command-level officers throughout New York State.
In September of 2018, I was recruited by the City of Ithaca Police Department to serve as their Deputy Chief, with the expectation of ascending to the position of police chief within one year to replace their current chief upon his pending retirement. I accepted this opportunity and within eight months of hire, became the Acting Chief and within one year, was sworn in as the permanent Chief of Police.
Through a positive and results-oriented leadership approach, I always endeavored to build strong collaborative community relationships through an emphasis on continual outreach, professionalism, accountability, and quality police services. During my tenure I also led the Department through its most tumultuous time including the global pandemic, many months of civil unrest, the police reforms in accordance with New York State Executive Order 203, and numerous high-profile incidents.
Upon retirement in the Spring of 2021, I accepted a faculty position with the University of San Diego, teaching in their nationally acclaimed Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership (LEPSL) Master's degree program. Here, I also serve as the host for the University's Blue Leadership Podcast series which highlights today's leaders and the key issues facing law enforcement throughout the country. – Dennis Nayor