Mark L. Simmons was appointed as the interim chief of the Rochester Police Department in Rochester, New York, United States in September 2016. He held the position until April 2019 when Rochester mayor Lovely Warren appointed La’Ron Singletary to the post.
On September 14, 2020, Warren relieved Singletary of his duties due to the controversy involving the Rochester Police Department and the death of Daniel Prude. Prior to this, Singletary announced his retirement, which was supposed to take effect on September 29, 2020.
For the second time, Simmons replaced Singletary as Rochester’s deputy chief of police. Here are 13 more facts about the former:
- He was born in 1980 in Rochester, where he also grew up.
- His father Bishop Amos Simmons is the bishop of Upper Floor Room Family Worship Center on Joseph Avenue in Rochester.
- He has three sisters namely Debbie Wilson, Sabrina Rawlins and Chastity Simmons and two brothers namely Pastor Terry Simmons and Noah Simmons.
- He and his wife Jennifer Simmons have four children.
- In 1998, he graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in Rochester.
- From March 1999 to March 2002, he worked at Elo Touch Solutions in Rochester as a logistics manager. In March 2002, he joined the Rochester Police Department as a patrol officer. He served on the organized violence reduction team and the tactical unit.
- From 2001 to 2003, he attended Monroe Community College in Rochester where he earned his associate’s degree in criminal justice and police science. He graduated with distinction.
- On July 25, 2005, he responded to a call from the relatives of LaShedica Mason, a girl aged 13 at the time who threatened to kill herself and locked herself in the bathroom of her home on St. Jacob Street in Rochester. While he was talking to the family members, the teenager emerged from the kitchen with a knife and rushed toward him and her sister who is 5 years older than her. He asked the suicidal teenager to stop before shooting her three times. The teenager survived but protesters condemned the shooting. Then acting Rochester Police Department chief Cedric Alexander defended him saying he “acted in an appropriate manner,” which was “the way he was trained to act.”
- In November 2008, he was promoted to police sergeant. From 2008 to 2010, he attended Keuka College in Keuka Park, New York where he earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and police science. He graduated magna cum laude.
- In November 2012, he was promoted to police lieutenant.
- In 2013, he obtained his graduate certificate in police executive studies from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, USA.
- In 2014, he served as the project coordinator for the patrol reorganization plan of the Rochester Police Department. From 2014 to 2015, he attended Keuka College again for his master’s degree in criminal justice and law enforcement administration. He graduated summa cum laude.
- His mother Dorothy Simmons died on March 3, 2016.