GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich named Michael R. Wood as the new chief of the Greece Police Department Thursday, after former Chief Drew Forsythe resigned.
Wood is currently the deputy commissioner for the state division of criminal justice. Prior to that, he served as deputy chief of operations for Rochester Police from 2011 to 2015. He is a longtime resident of Greece.
The new chief of police will officially be sworn into the department on January 15th.
Supervisor Reilich says the selection was made in consideration of everything the department stands for.
“His skillset is unmatched and his qualifications are on point,” Reilich said. “It is exactly what we need to bring this department into the future. I could not be more thrilled to bring a police leader of his caliber to the Town of Greece.”
Newly-appointed wood says that although his work has yet begun, he wants to hit the ground running.
“My position is to serve these men and woman on each and every occasion, everyday,” Wood said. “The extended community should expect nothing else, I look forward to getting to work. It is an honor to be selected as the next chief of police in Greece. I will work to provide the highest level of policing services.”
Jason Helfer has been acting as interim chief since Forsythe’s resignation.
Forsythe was in court last week, where he was scheduled to be arraigned on DWI charges stemming from the October crash that led to his resignation. All three of the town’s judges recused themselves from the case, which Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said would be passed to a court in a neighboring municipality.
“The matter is now in the hands of the court,” Reilich said. “The investigation by town investigators is now complete, that is what we will discuss later on today. The decision will need a vote of the town board.”
According to the DA’s office, Forsythe was driving home from a function with coworkers in his police-issued vehicle around 1:30 a.m. on October 21 when he crashed into a guardrail on 390. Forsythe did not stay at the scene or immediately report the crash. Instead, he drove until his car had only one working wheel.
Greece police initially said Forsythe swerved to avoid a deer, and attempted to drive back to the police station. The DA’s office said the route Forsythe took after the crash suggests he was actually trying to drive home.
According to the DA’s office, video footage of the event Forsythe attended before the crash shows him consuming six alcoholic drinks before getting into his car that evening. Greece police officers arriving on scene after the crash did not conduct a field sobriety test.
Reilich said he was not told about the crash until later that morning. He said the “breakdown of communication” was a contributing factor in him asking Forsythe to step down.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.