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Rochester's Finest: Officer Mike Ciulla

RPD Officer Mike Ciulla makes house calls.
RPD Officer Mike Ciulla makes house calls.  He spends most of his time talking with people. 

"It's the gift of gab. I mean when it comes down to it you use this weapon a lot more than you use anything else on your belt," he said.

He is a problem solver.

"The problems are varied and the solutions aren't easy; and that's what everybody wants is an easy solution, but there's not one," he said.

Ciulla sees at-risk kids every day. He believes education is the key to helping them. This life lesson is about not playing in the street. Before he became a cop, MIke earned degrees in Education and Music. Now he does it all. He even sings at Sabres games and he still finds time to teach. 

"I was a city school teacher for two and a half years. Before that I was a Special Education teacher at School #25, and for the past two years I've also been teaching at Vanguard Collegiate High School during the day," he said.

At Vanguard he leads a new law enforcement class.

"It's going great. I'm getting great feedback from the students," he said. "So I teacher during the day and fight crimes at night. It's like a poor man's Batman."

"I'm taking this class because criminal justice is not just a choice for me. It's a goal because I've wanted to become part of the law since I was little," Marcus Cook said.

His father, Gary Ciulla, took the oath of honor 36 years ago. There was a time when Mike thought he had to do better than his dad, so he became a teacher. He soon realized he could make more of a difference following in his footsteps. 

"I just want to help people, do the right thing, do something noble with my life; and this gives me the opportunity to do that," he said.

Like helping a young mother serve an order of protection against her daughter's father, or talking to a young man whose mother called for help because he was stealing. Offier Ciulla saw it as an opportunity to teach a lesson.

"She's given you everything in your life and she works so that you can have a life; and what you are doing that she has to call the police to come down and talk to you," Ciulla said to the troubled youngster.

In the end, Ciulla called for help to get the family counseling and the boy went inside and apologized to his mother. 

"This is a mother who cares enough about her child to do everything in her power; and when it came to calling the police, she may not like the police, she might not trust the police; but she wants what's best for her child. That is one kid I don't worry about. It's the ones who don't call I worry about," he said. 

Being one of Rochester's finest is not all about making arrests. More often it is about helping people and living up to the oath taken to protect and serve. 



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