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City Manager Charles B. Strome announced today the retirement of Police Commissioner Joseph F. Schaller, effective June 30, 2021; and the appointment of Deputy Commissioner Robert Gazzola to Commissioner on July 1.
“We were fortunate to have had such a dedicated professional as Joe Schaller in our police department for so many years, especially in senior leadership and finally as Commissioner. His experience has been valuable during good and also some very difficult times. I am pleased that Rob Gazzola will follow as Commissioner, bringing his expertise to the position and insuring a seamless transition for the department.”
Commissioner Joseph F. Schaller has been with the New Rochelle Police Department for over four decades, the longest-serving member in the department’s history. He was appointed in August 1974 and was promoted to Sergeant (1979), Lieutenant (1982), Captain (1988), Deputy Police Commissioner (2015) and Commissioner (2018). Commissioner Schaller earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from Fordham University, a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Iona College and a Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law in 2005. During his tenure, the City of New Rochelle has been consistently noted as one of the top safest cities its size nationally.
“I would like to thank the people and the City of New Rochelle for allowing me to serve as a member of the New Rochelle Police Department for the past forty-seven years, and as the Department’s Police Commissioner for the past three and half,” said Commissioner Schaller. “I would also particularly like to thank my command staff and the men and women of the New Rochelle Police Department, past and present, who have served with me and supported me; and, who are responsible for any success I may have had in my efforts in the police service over the years.”
Deputy Commissioner Robert Gazzola joined the department in 1986. He rose through the ranks to Sergeant (1993), Lieutenant (1996), Captain (2002), and Deputy Police Commissioner (2018). He served as Captain of the Police Services Division from 2002 to 2015, then served as the Captain of the Criminal Investigations Division before being promoted to Deputy Police Commissioner. He grew up and attended public schools in New Rochelle. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Iona College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Marist College.
“It has been an honor working along side Commissioner Schaller. He has been a true gentleman and great leader during his long tenure, and has earned the respect of all who were fortunate enough to have worked with him,” said Deputy Commissioner Gazzola. “I look forward to continuing the work Commissioner Schaller has started, as well as continuing to serve the City with the men and women of the New Rochelle Police Department.”