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Dennis Nayor

Dennis R. Nayor is a recently retired sworn law enforcement professional and multi-agency police chief with more than 25 years in municipal policing. He 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.

Nayor began his law enforcement career in 1995 with the City of Oneonta Police Department. During his tenure, he served in the capacities as 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 his career, he also served as a senior instructor in defensive tactics, firearms, physical fitness, and police general topics. As Chief in Oneonta, he led the police department to earn full accreditation through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

In January of 2017, Dennis retired from the Oneonta Police Department to assume the role of Director of Research, Development, and Training for the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. In this capacity he 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. His efforts were focused upon promoting the six pillars of professional 21st century policing by disseminating information, authoring articles, creating podcasts, and promoting training which emphasized: 1. Building trust and legitimacy; 2. Education and training; 3. Utilizing social media and technology; 4. Community policing and crime reduction; 5. Policy development and oversight; and, 6. Officer wellness and safety

In September of 2018, Dennis was recruited by the City of Ithaca Police Department to serve as their Deputy Chief of Police, in charge of the Department’s professional standards. The expectation was for him to ascend to the position of police chief within one year to replace the current chief upon his pending retirement. He accepted this opportunity and moved on from the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. In his new role, he became responsible for assisting in the overall leadership, professional development, and advancement of the 70-sworn member Department, while preparing to assume top command. In September 2019, he was appointed as Acting Chief. Following mayoral recommendation and unanimous Council approval, he was sworn in as the permanent Chief of Police.

Nayor earned a Masters Degree in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego. In addition, he holds a graduate certificate from the University of Virginia in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor degree from SUNY Geneseo in Political Science, and an Associate degree from Hudson Valley Community College in Criminal Justice. He is a proud graduate of the 240th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and a graduate of the 61st session of the FBI LEEDA Command Institute.

Dennis joins The CopDoc Podcast on July 12, 2021.


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