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Dennis R. Nayor
Chief (Ret.) Dennis R. Nayor is a retired sworn law enforcement professional and multi-agency police chief with over 25 years of experience in municipal policing. Dennis 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. Both agencies serve vibrant, fast-paced, and progressive cities in Upstate New York.
During his tenure with the City of Oneonta Police Department, Dennis served in the capacities of 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. While Chief in Oneonta, Dennis' Department earned full New York State accreditation, which formed our path to becoming a well-respected and high-performance agency.
Upon retirement in 2017, Dennis assumed 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.
In September of 2018, Dennis was recruited by the City of Ithaca Police Department to serve as their Deputy Chief, with the expectation of ascending to the position of police chief within one year to replace their current chief upon his pending retirement. Dennis accepted this opportunity and within eight months of hire, became the Acting Chief and within one year, was sworn in as the permanent Chief of Police.
Through a positive and results-oriented leadership approach, Dennis always endeavored to build strong collaborative community relationships through an emphasis on continual outreach, professionalism, accountability, and quality police services. During his tenure he also led the Department through its most tumultuous time to include the global pandemic, many months of civil unrest, the police reforms in accordance with New York State Executive Order 203, and numerous high profile incidents.
Upon retirement in the Spring of 2021, Dennis accepted a faculty position with the University of San Diego, teaching in their nationally acclaimed Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership (LEPSL) Master's degree program. Here, he also serves as the host for the University's Blue Leadership Podcast series which highlights today's leaders and the key issues facing law enforcement throughout the country.
Dennis holds an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Hudson Valley Community College, a Bachelor Degree from SUNY Geneseo in Political Science, a Graduate Certificate from the University of Virginia in Criminal Justice, and a Master Degree from University of San Diego in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership. Dennis is also a graduate of the 240th session of the FBI National Academy and a graduate of the FBI LEEDA Command Institute.