San Jose’s Retiring Police Chief Hired to Lead Tracy PD

San Jose’s top cop, who’s set to retire after the New Year, has another job lined up with the city of Tracy.

Chief Larry Esquivel will leave the San Jose Police Department after 30 years on the force in January. Weeks later, the San Jose native will replace Tracy’s outgoing chief, Gary Hampton.

“I am certain he will bring the same level of dedication and leadership to the city of Tracy as he did in San Jose,” Tracy City Manager Troy Brown said in a statement.

Esquivel, 53, was one of the top four contenders for the police chief job in Tuscon, Ariz., but he reportedly withdrew his application.

Since joining the SJPD as a reserve officer in 1984, Esquivel has worked in the agency’s patrol, narcotics, special operations, internal affairs, field training and administrative units. In 2013, he succeeded Chief Chris Moore, taking over an understaffed force demoralized by a drawn-out political battle with the city over pension and wage cuts.

Eddie Garcia, San Jose’s assistant police chief, will take over Esquivel’s role on an interim basis next year. It is not known if the city intends to conduct a national search to identify a permanent replacement.

35 Comments

  1. Don’t know which is the bigger demotion this year – Doug Marrone going from Bills Head Coach to Jags Offensive Line Coach….or this

    • Tracy: 83,000 residents. PD: 86 sworn officers. Sounds like a big step down; more like Belichick retiring to coach high school in Bunghole, Idaho. Chief Esquivel will be Tracy’s first non-Anglo Police Chief. However, Tracy is the location of the apex of Jenn’s journalistic career—coverage of the Cantu/Huckaby murder case. .

    • It is called freedom to retire from one agency and take another job. Tired of this double dipping crap. Are we supposed to retire from the city of San Jose after 30 years and not seek another income. Shame on you.

      • Healthy, able bodied people in their early 50s don’t need retirement. He’s making more than Obama now, and the taxpayers paid and continue to pay for all of it. It’s your kind of arrogance that leads to voter revolts like Measure B, and lawsuit proof state wide reform proposals are coming soon.

      • No disrespect for the other comments, I’m just glad God kept him alive to reap the benefits if whatever job he has. That in itself is a blessing, considering the type of job he has!!

    • He earned it by working the hours, doing the job, and making the sacrifices that are required in any profession worth putting your time in. Perhaps if you had planned your life better, you too could be enjoying the benifits of good decisions. Larry played by the rules, and his efforts and dedication paid off. Congratulations Chief!

      • He had a base compensation of $230,937 last year and a total compensation of $450,751. Assuming his pension maintains 90% of his previous income, and his new compensation is comparable to his previous, you do the math. That’s not in any way similar to “any profession worth putting your time in.” Your own compatriots have said that he’s not even deserving of the position, let alone the compensation. The system is therefore set up to undeservedly reward public employees with excessive incomes without commensurate performance. These costs are out of control, and we all know it.

  2. SJC,

    It is not a demotion, it’s water seeking its own level; affirmative reaction. San Jose PD, prizing race and gender above all, has become the go-to resource for small budget departments willing to accept mediocrity provided it’s packaged in a politically-correct, subservient command officer.

    In Tracy, Larry Esquivel can be expected to do what he’s done here: whatever he’s told.

  3. We seem to have a problem with terminology here. He’s not retiring, he’s quitting one job and taking another. The headline should really be changed in the interest of accuracy and english language usage.

    The definition of retirement is “the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work.”

      • Incorrect usage is incorrect, no matter how many people may make the same error; such as Guardino and Liccardo repeatedly calling the new flights from SJC to international destinations direct flights, when they are in fact non stop flights. Non stop flights and direct flights are two very different animals. It is more accurate to say that Chief Esquivel has resigned from the SJPD. He certainly has not retired from police work.

  4. It would be accurate to say that he is “pensioning out” of his position with San Jose and taking on a position with Tracy. His pension check will be drawn on the police/firefighter fund — not the San Jose budget, while his new salary will come out of the Tracy budget.

    P.S. Pensioning out is exactly what Chuck Reed’s daughter and son-in-law will be eligible to do after 20 years of service in the Air Force, regardless of age. A big difference is that during each of his 30 years with the police department Larry Esquivel contributed to his pension while the Air Force plan requires no payroll deductions of its members. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Chuck Reed (or his supporters) to scream foul when, in perhaps as few as two years, his daughter (college educated on the public dime/Esquivel paid his own way) and/or son-in-law “retire” in their early forties and move on to second careers.

    • I doubt that Chuck’s daughter and son-in-law will each be making $451k the year they leave the Air Force.

  5. How can a system allow someone retired, pay for their retirement so they can work somewhere else?
    Big time double dipping. Taxpayers courtesy!!!!

  6. Larry, Thank You for your Service ! You will be received well in Tracy. God Speed ! We will deal with the Knuckle Heads that are being left to wonder what could have been, had they planned as well as You, for the future and your Community. You will continue to serve, and , that I admire of You !
    Gil Hernandez / The Village Black Smith

  7. Good Luck Larry! You’re getting out of this sh**hole community and moving on to a far better place! Thanks to the Measure B folks as they now are on their own and still complaining.

  8. This isn’t much of a demotion when he will get a pension from San Jose and a pension from Tracy. Typical cop, scamming the system.

  9. These well-paid bureaucrats retire at full pension in their 50’s and move from one gravy train to the next.

  10. To all you HATER’S, Chief Esquivel started out as a patrol officer and promoted to the rank of Chief. Just like any corporate executive would in any company and receive compensation equal to responsibility and title. The difference is in his profession its life or death situations. He worked weekends, hoildays and nights. He risked his life every day for you and others in the community. He went to work knowing it could be his last and yet he still did it. He was paid a wage that every Police Chief earns and deserves to run a police department the size of San Jose. How many of you chowder heads would strap on a gun and badge every day and risk your life for an hourly wage. How would like making split second decision at 3am and on monday a group would be breaking down a split second into a 4 month investigation of how you should have acted. What hourly wage would any of you accept for going into a dark building alone looking for an armed suspect. Cops have a job no body else wants, but love to judge them and catch them making mistakes. try living with that pressure at your day job.

    Chief Esquivel chose law enforcement as his passion and career, if you chose a profession that makes you jealous of him and his pension then maybe its your life choices that you should be angry about.. We all should thank him and every cop for their honorable service, they are true hero’s in our community. They deserve every penny they get and then some.

    Rick Martinez

    • Rick,

      I think everyones frustration stems from our Chief’s tend to not stick around very long before moving onto greener pastures. I think Larry was great, and losing him is a loss for our city. Of course, he has every right to steer his career as needed, but this city needs him. He’s done a lot to bring safety back to the negotiating table, but the job isn’t finished.

      I think leaving the job 1/2 finished for greener pastures is why he’s getting so much flack.

      • Robert, our “Chiefs” tend not to stick around long because is takes many many years in the enforcement profession to attain the rank of Chief. Chief Esquivel has been on the job for 30 years! At 30 years the pension is MAXED at 90%. I’m not talking COLAs or anything else just saying you can work 40, 50 60 or a hundred years for SJPD and on the day you retire you WILL NOT GET MORE THAN 90% of your base pay).

        If SJPD hires from outside the Department does anyone seriously think the City would consider for one second hiring a 35 year old with 10 years experience in law enforcement and say ” we want you to lead this department for the next 20-25 years?”

        The other problem is that the Chief is an “at-will” employee appointed by the Manager and confirmed by the Council – What police officer of any rank would risk current his/her current job security and retirement for an appointment to the Chief’s rank if they had less than 20 years on ( probably equal to an age range of 43-50 years old)? No body.

        Outsiders would have to commit for a minimum of 10 years in order to allow time to become vested for pension rights. Any outside Veteran Chief ( or other lower rank) with a pension from elsewhere would automatically have his/her judgement questioned and risking the ability to lead the rank and file.

        • You don’t follow what I’m saying Weed. We liked Larry, and we’re upset he’s leaving us so soon. As a resident, I feel we should have negotiated a raise for him so he wouldn’t be looking at Tracy.

          • I follow completely. Feelings and fantasy won’t change reality.

            Maybe I should have been more concise:

            It is not currently legal for anyone to collect an SJPD retirement and continue working for SJPD as sworn police officer for pay.

            All the other issues previously mentioned support the decision making process that goes into retiring from SJPD and going to work somewhere else… there is no good or compelling reason for a sensible person to not collect an SJPD retirement AND work somewhere else that offers a pension in a different pension plan if that opportunity arises.

            …and no, no SJPD officer should feel compelled to stay out of some unrealistic BS “sense of loyalty or duty…” most especially in light of the lack of loyalty and respect shown by the politicians, media and half baked residents who follow mindlessly.

  11. Police aren’t bureaucrats Police are Police. Here are some bureaucrats to ponder -(4) special people. Special because no one ever questions these them. Special because they are all considered members of what is known as as “Protected Class,” and we all know that to question a member of a “Protected Class” is the politically correct equivalent of discrimination based on a disability, sexual orientation or race among and ever expanding list of protected classes.

    No one questions their motives No one questions their pensions, their benefits or their salaries. No one questions their career or employment choices after their “career” is done.

    (1) Pete Constant – he believes he earned the title “cop” but from people who know him and actually worked , they say he spent a few years driving a police car – often in the opposite direction from anything work related always away from risky calls and otherwise in aimless circles. Pete in uniform was justa guy in a costume. He got a disability pension from an injury he claimed was work related – to get that pension he spent more time fighting the hurdles to get it than he did actually pretending to be a cop. This same guy got elected to the City Council and became one of the loudest opponents not only of Disability pensions but regular pensions for Police and Fire Fighters and today works as an anti-pension lobbyist in Sacramento.

    (2) Council Staffers like Shane Patrick Connolly – or Jose Salcido. Connolly was a private sector corporate executive who left the private sector (i wonder why for the public sector where he gets a salary, benefits AND A PENSION. As a staffer for Constant and now Khamis, Connolly is another anti-pension policy guy. Salcido is a pension collecting retired Sheriff’s Lieutenent and union boss at the local and state level (PORAC) who on retiring took a 6 figure job as a policy adviser for anti-pension Mayor Chuck Reed and is NOW a staffer for anti pension Khamis. Joe is one of the first people to tell you with a straight face that “Reed (of Khamis) is one of the best friends public employees – especially police and fire fighters could have…”

    there are many other local examples of bureaucrats but here is maybe the best and most egregious:

    (3) Ladoris Cordell – activist attorney, appointed to the superior court bench where she continued her brand of race based activism as a judge – retired from the bench and collecting a healthy state Judge’s pension she took the job as the salaried San Jose “Independent” Police Auditor where true to form there wasn’t a police officer or police action that she didn’t pre-judge as being caused by racism or some other deeply held bias on the part of the officer – never the person(s) officers were dealing with! We can’t forget this because it is relevant. As IPA Cordell was running or engaged in a number of “side businesses.” She was earning for being a mediator and brokering mediation services for other “mediators” in legal matters – when found out that she was in violation of a number of City policies regarding “outside employment” council had hearings and swept the matter under the rug allowing her to continue when she plead ignorance of the policy – something she would never forgive or overlook NO MATTER HOW MINOR the policy or how insignificant or EVEN RELEVANT it was to the complaint her office was investigating.

    In her last days as IPA she began her new endeavor which is watching the news, finding police related stories and then finding fault with the police. Once She finds fault, she will hold a press conference announcing that she has filed a Citizen’s Compliant with department based on her perception of the officer{s} involved. Now time is money and I can’t imagine Cordell is doing any of this as charity work. She is using her media contacts and intimacy with bureaucracy as a bureaucrat to hamstring policing and promote the “rights” and bank accounts of criminals and their families and most likely her own.

  12. It’s 9 am Saturday morning 11/7/15.I’m ready for any adventure to evolve this weekend.
    Yep, I started my day by reading San Jose Inside! after reading all these opinionated ner do wells, writing about our Police Chief, I wondered! How many of these knuckle Heads carry an apple product in their pocket, worst yet give these Apple products to their children.
    SO ! I Google’d , “Child Labor In China, making Apple Products”. HOLY COW!, What a surprise ! Their Logo, an apple with a bite out of it, Now, that is what the next President needs to do to these Greedy Teckie Billionaire Brats. “Take a big bite out of their Corp. Asses. Now there is a Tee Shirt, for Trump. Pay your off shore profit Taxes, or get the Fu#k, outta this sinking USA.
    .Their ill gotten dough could educate millions of our poor and underprivileged children.
    India, now there is another JOKE ! H1-B workers.. These Indians, are displacing our own American engineers. If you own an Apple product, You are in , Sick Denial. Am I right Ro?
    There, I’m ready now to get started on my weekend. A great break for standing behind my Anvil all week, making product for our country, and paying taxes.
    After posting here,Duck Hunting Is now, an option, with this next rain storm. Quack!, Quack !
    Larry God Speed !

  13. > A great break for standing behind my Anvil all week, making product for our country, and paying taxes.

    And how much carbon pollution and toxic heavy metals does your foundry pump into the environment so you can make a buck? You don’t give your stuff away, do you?

    I’m sure you must be on an OSHA watch list, an EPA watch list, an IRS watch list, an FPPC watch list, and — just so Obama doesn’t miss anything — an NSA watch list.

    It’s probably long past time when the government should get out of their rocking chairs, stop just watching you, and put you in a FEMA camp.

    For your own protection, of course. Just to make sure you don’t hit your thumb with a hammer and drive up the cost of Obamacare for everyone else because of your carelessness.

  14. Bubble Wrap, you Goofy Charatuer, I am a green company. I don’t need an Indian politician, like RO KHANNA pandering for me, to keep me from paying my taxes.
    THEY HAVE ALL BEEN HERE. THEY TELL.ME, “I WONDER WHY THEY SENT US HERE?”
    YOU ARE EXACTLY WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR COUNTRY. WHAT DO YOU DO FOR HUMANITY?
    You are a mindless polluter like Trump.
    Is that the best you got, Bubbles?

    • > Is that the best you got, Bubbles?

      Well . . . yes.

      My mind was damaged from inhaling smoke and toxic pollution from foundries..

      We need some activists to get in the faces of these greed bags and shut them down.

  15. Whomever the new chief is, he or she is going to inherit an incredibly desperate and critical shortage of police officers. The current number of street ready officers is down in the low 800’s, down from 1,450 officers before Reed was put in office. This number continues to shrink weekly as officers retire and go to other police departments. Many officers are due to retire just after the first of the year. Calls go for service go unanswered, cases that deserve to be worked by detectives are not and many cases that are worked can not get the attention they deserve. Overtime spots go unfilled as officers are utterly burnt out, and it is common for officers to work 60 hours per week. One major event can tie up almost all available units on any given shift. The SJPD will come to a complete stop a few weeks before the Superbowl, as all specialized units and all the detective units will be diverted to Superbowl security for San Jose related events, and officers will be required to cancel time off and instead work many shifts of mandatory overtime. It is sad that the recent San Jose mayors and city council members have treated the SJPD with contempt and disdain, and the chickens are coming home to roost.

    • Mr. Observation,

      Is there any truth to what I heard regarding the new SJPD patrol cars? I heard that the new patrol cars will actually be motor homes, with light bars on top, that will sleep 6 officers; 2 for each shift and they will just switch off driver and passenger every 8 hours and wake up the others if they need extra units.

      Is it true that the City Council is still debating whether or not to put wi-fi access in the RV patrol cars so that officers can check in with their families by way of email or attend family functions via Skype? The mayor and the council can call this new vehicle, “The Last-Stand-mobile”. Of course, the officers will probably just refer to them as “Reed-mobiles”. (The sad thing is, this is ALMOST not sarcasm).

      If a major incident occurs ( like an officer involved shooting; a large gang or bar fight with multiple suspects, seriously injured victims, and witnesses at the scene; an “active shooter” situation, or a major traffic collision with one or more fatalities and a drunk driver etc), and you get mugged or assaulted at the same time, and you are injured, all the dispatcher may be able to do is give you first aid instructions and directions to the nearest hospital because patrol units are spread so thin right now that they may not be able to work more than 1 or 2 major incidents at a time and still be able to break a unit loose to handle your mugging or assault call in less than an a couple hours, if at all.

      My friends, things really ARE getting that bad. Most people don’t know it because most people don’t ever have to call for emergency services and we have been very lucky so far. I only hope that people don’t have to start finding this out the hard way, when it happens to them or a loved one.

      The sad irony is that former mayor Reed, with his Measure B, dropped the nuclear bomb on public safety but we are the ones who must live among the ashes.

  16. I think what both sides of the argument need to realize is that their quaint city is no longer the familiar place from their memories. San Jose stands quite firmly as one of the major pillars supporting our outrageously corrupt state government.

    Anyone who feels this position contrasts with California’s roots in defending individual rights and freedoms has been grossly misinformed because in our short 150+ year history the objective has always been providing the mechanisms required to transfer and guarantee absolute ownership of any and all resources our great state has to offer. aside from this objective there is no other purpose to our local and state government.

    And the problem with all the arguments about whats right and wrong with our government is that none of them appropriately frame their arguments with respect to the truth about what California represents. In the grand scheme of things San Jose is just another cesspool in an ocean of corruption and nothing will probably change that in the future. And if people want to see change they need to stop complaining about whats unfair and instead do as California does and grab everything not bolted to the ground. Just go out and get make sure you get yours before someone else does.