ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester City Council voted Tuesday to confirm the appointment of RPD Chief David Smith. It’s the first time in nearly two years the city has had a permanent chief.

Smith was officially confirmed in an 8-1 vote. Councilmember Stanley Martin was the lone “no” vote.

“My vote no today really has to do with what happened in 2020 with the Daniel Prude protests,” Martin said. “You were involved in the harm and violence done to citizens who were peacefully exercising their rights to protest.”

His upgraded role from interim chief to the permanent chief was originally made public during the first week of July when Rochester Mayor Malik Evans showed his support for Smith.

“He buys into my belief, our belief, the city council’s belief, everyone’s belief into community-first public safety,” Evans said. “He’s been tapped to take on more responsibility and it has shown that people enlist their trust in him. I’m glad he is now a permanent member of this administration.”

Chief Smith was sworn as interim chief in October of 2021 after the resignation of former interim police chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan. He has led the city’s police department since.

He served as the Deputy Chief of operations as part of Herriott-Sullivan’s command staff and has been with Rochester police since 1992.

“Thank you for your service to the community,” Rochester City Council President Miguel A. Meléndez, Jr. said. “We understand that everyone has differing opinions on some of this stuff, but I know that the highest opportunity to serve the city of Rochester is the Chief, and so I want to thank you for your service.”

Rochester has not had a permanent police chief since September 2020, when La’Ron Singletary was fired after the death of Daniel Prude. Singletary announced his retirement shortly after news of Prude’s death became public, but was fired by Lovely Warren before the retirement took effect.

Chief Smith was sworn in as interim chief in October of 2021.