ROCHESTER, NY -- Former DeKalb public safety director Dr. Cedric Alexander will become the new deputy mayor of Rochester, NY.
Mayor-elect Lovely Warren made the announcement on Monday.
"I'm not here for political reasons," said Alexander, who will take over as deputy mayor on April 24.
Alexander, 62, served as the city's interim police chief in 2005, and had been in off-and-on contact with Warren since her election in 2013. He announced his retirement from DeKalb County earlier this month.
The deputy mayor is the highest appointed official in the mayor's office and has direct oversight of most city departments. Alexander will succeed R. Carlos Carballada, 82, who has been in the role since June 2016.
Warren said she had held out to find a perfect fit for the deputy mayor job. Alexander said Monday that he and Warren had been talking about the deputy mayor post the past three months. Warren said she first reached out about the job in December.
"He has a heart and a passion for Rochester," she said, calling his 40-year law enforcement career and local popularity "the bonus in it all. I don't question divine intervention."
Asked about his experience outside of public safety, Alexander said his career has included leading large organizations "from good, to better, to great."
"Me being a chief, this is a piece of who I am. That is not the whole of who I am," he said.
Alexander served as Rochester’s police chief and deputy chief from 2002-05. He also served as an assistant professor in the University of Rochester’s department of psychiatry.
He has appeared on national media networks to provide comment on police-community relations and has written editorials for CNN titled “How to Build a Sensitive Cop;” “Police and Communities of Color Need to Build Trust;” and “Attacks on Police are an Attack on Community.”
Alexander was also one of 11 police professionals to serve on President Obama's task force on 21st century policing. He has also testified before Congress on such topics as intelligence gathering and sharing and police-community relations.