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Matthew Neilsen named next chief of police in Canandaigua

Canandaigua City Manager John Goodwin announced Monday that Mathew Nielson would serve as the next chief of police in the city.

Neilsen succeeds Chief Stephen Hedworth who retired last week after serving the City of Canandaigua for over 20 years as a Police Officer, Sergeant and Chief of Police.

He has been a Sergeant since November 2019 and joined the Canandaigua PD in December of 2016. Previously he served as a Police Officer at the Village of Fairport Police Department and rose to the rank of Lieutenant and served as the Acting Chief. Mathew has 20+ years of police experience and shares the vision to continue a culture of community policing and initiatives.


“Obviously, I am most proud of the family I have raised.  My wife of 17 years, Kristie, is a Kindergarten teacher at Marcus Whitman and we have three beautiful girls who are all showing me all of the excitement that comes with girls in those teenage years.  Both Kristie and I grew up in the Canandaigua area and we are proud to call this area our lifelong home,” Neilsen said.

“On a professional note, I am most proud of my decision four years ago to return to serve the citizens of Canandaigua.  This decision was a full of unknowns and was considered by others in the law enforcement profession as big risk for a person who was at this phase of their career.  This was what I consider as the best decision that I have made in my professional career.  Words cannot describe the fulfillment my career path has taken since coming home to work in Canandaigua.  It is quite an experience to be completely connected, both personally and professionally, to your jurisdictional area of employment and its citizens.  I was quite proud when I was promoted to serve as a Sergeant in my “home town” last year, and now I am very humbled by the amount of support and confidence that other have in me to lead the Canandaigua Police Department into the future as the Chief of Police.”


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