GENEVA — Michael Passalacqua was appointed Geneva police chief Thursday afternoon, effective today.

The Geneva native has been serving as acting chief since the retirement of Jeff Trickler earlier this month. He has been a member of the Geneva Police Department for 15 years, working his way up the ranks.

The appointment was announced by the City Manager team of Sage Gerling, Adam Blowers and Doris Myers.

“This is what I’ve dreamed of and worked hard for in my career,” Passalacqua said in a statement released Thursday. “I would not be here without the support of my family and from all of the community members who have taken the time to get to know me in this process and in my career with the department.”

He said he is excited to be at the head of the department.

“We have a great team and are currently filling some of our vacant positions. We will then be able to provide even more support to the community and have even more engagement opportunities every day. I want to be more progressive and be sure that we have all of the resources, skills and tools to be successful serving the city,” he added.

Born in Geneva, he was raised in Geneva and Phelps. He graduated from St. Stephen’s School and DeSales High School. He went to Finger Lakes Community College and then to the police academy.

Gerling, Blowers and Myers said they made the appointment after discussions with Passalacqua, staff, City Council members, the Community Compact Advisory Group and through several community forums around the city in recent weeks. They also cited in-person, phone and email feedback.

“It was determined that Mike displayed the qualities and vision necessary to move our Police Department in a positive direction and enhance the department’s relationship with all members of the community,” they said in a joint statement. “His professionalism and progressive attitude are what we feel the city needs to accomplish the goals of the comprehensive plan.”

They said feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with common themes being Passalacqua’s openness to new ideas, professionalism, respect, heavy emphasis on training and open-door policy.

“Mike also understands the importance of getting more of his front line staff to participate more in community events, meetings and other engagement opportunities to build stronger relationships between police and the community,” they said.

His father, Ron Passalacqua, is a retired member of the department.

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