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Longtime Brockport police chief to retire

by Tori Martinez - Managing Editor
Tue, Nov 14th 2017 10:00 pm

 

After 16 years with the Brockport Police Department, Police Chief Daniel Varrenti has announced his retirement. The announcement was made at the end of October, five months before his last day. Varrenti is stepping down after nearly 40 years as a police officer.

During his time as BPD police chief, Varrenti works as an adjunct professor at The College at Brockport. Varrenti, who has worked at the college for 18 years now, said that he’d continue working as a professor after his retirement should the Department of Criminal Justice sign another contract with him next year. With extra time on his hands, he said he may even instruct a few more courses. 

Though he still has a few more months on the job, Varrenti already has a vision for BPD after he is gone, which includes the promotion of Mark Cuzzupoli from lieutenant to chief. Varrenti will have no decision in the actual hiring of the next chief, but has recommended Cuzzupoli to the Brockport Village Board, which will conduct the hiring process. 

“The board knows who I believe should be the next police chief — there’s no doubt in my mind, Lieutenant Cuzzupoli,” Varrenti said. “He’s more than qualified. He’s taken every [police] exam and passed them, he’s my right-hand person. He is everything and more I would want to see in a police chief. He knows the workings of the police department and personnel as well, if not better, than I do. He would make a phenomenal chief.”

Village Mayor Margay Blackman said the village board has pretty much chosen Cuzzupoli, but needs to conduct its formal interviewing process with him before making an final decisions. Blackman said the board will be formally interviewing Cuzzupoli near the end of the month.

“[The village] knows Cuzzupoli well and he’s been in the police department for 20 years, so he really knows the community,” Blackman said. “He graduated from Brockport High School and the college, so he’s a hometown boy.”

The process of finding Varrenti’s successor technically began 16 years ago. When he was first hired as chief, one of Varrenti’s goals was to ensure that the person to follow in his footsteps would be hired from within the department, unlike himself, who came from the Irondequoit Police Department. At the time of his appointment, there were some internal issues within the department where two sides were formed, Varrenti said. In his opinion, hiring a chief from within the department would not have been a good idea, nor would it have been fair for them to deal with such issues right from the start. At that time, Varrenti knew he would have to mend the relationships and overall atmosphere in the department, which was one of the things he first began working on. Blackman has seen the progress that’s been made within the department over the years, which is another factor in Cuzzupoli’s favor. While the board could conduct a statewide search for a new chief if it wanted to, Blackman said they are not considering it.

“This is a department that works well together; it’s very tight,” Blackman said. “The chain of command and morale within the department is strong, and it would have quite the effect on the department if we decided to reach far for a chief.”

Varrenti’s last day will be March 31. After which, Cuzzupoli is likely to fill his seat. 

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