Eddie Garcia Sheds Acting Tag to Become Permanent Police Chief

San Jose has made its top cop—until-now-acting Chief Edgardo “Eddie” Garcia—the permanent leader of the department.

City Manager Norberto Dueñas announced the promotion Tuesday after the City Council ratified the appointment. Garcia was named acting chief after the January retirement of Larry Esquivel, who left after 30 years on the force to helm the Tracy Police Department.

“Chief Garcia has demonstrated the skill and judgment that we need to rebuild the department’s strength and to earn and keep the trust of both our residents and our police officers,” Dueñas said. “His long experience with this department and dedication to our community will be invaluable for leading our police force during a challenging period for both San Jose and the law enforcement profession.”

Garcia joined the San Jose Police Department in 1992 and became second-in-command under Esquivel in 2013. Before that, Garcia served as deputy chief and led SJPD’s Bureau of Investigations and Bureau Administration.

Throughout his career with SJPD, Garcia has worked in the patrol division, narcotics enforcement and special operations. He has also served as a night detective and homicide investigator. As lieutenant, he oversaw the Community Services Division and the Vice and Criminal Intelligence Units. As captain, he commanded the bureaus of field operations and investigations.

“I’m pleased that we have a dynamic leader like Chief Garcia to step up to lead our department,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said. “I’m looking forward to working with him, his leadership team and all of our officers as we continue to rebuild our department and ensure that San Jose remains one of the safest big cities in the country.”

The Puerto Rico native moved at a young age to San Jose, where he grew up and joined the police force in his early 20s. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice management from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“I am both honored by the confidence in me from the city manager and the city council and humbled by the big responsibility to lead the men and women of our department as we strive to become one of the best police departments in the nation,” Garcia said in a statement Tuesday. “I will continue to do my best to achieve this goal in partnership with our community, the San Jose Police Officers Association and all our officers.”

5 Comments

  1. The City Manager must have liked the impression Eddie’s big grin left… on the seat of Sam’s pants.

  2. Sam Liccardo and Guardino talking about rebuilding the very mess they created! Unbelievable. Hopefully Garcia can run the police dept without the usual puppet strings from the clowns downtown at the asylum…

  3. I certainly hope that Chief Garcia has a thick Second Chance Vest that will protect him from all the cheap shots and gutter snipping coming from this blog!

  4. “Eddie Garcia Sheds Acting Tag to Become Permanent Police Chief” There is no such thing as a “permanent” police chief in San-Jo any longer. Each new chief stays long enough to get his retirement number up to the max, then leaves with a huge lump sum of comp pay, health care for life, a massive defined benefit pension, and moves on to another department. Some move to big cities like San Diego; others move to hick towns like Tracy. What’s the over/under in months before Eddie checks out of SJPD? I am not saying Eddie isn’t entitled to it under the law. That’s what the Gonzales-Chavez led, labor dominated city council gave him and all other city employees, aided and abetted by Ron’s hatchet man Joe Guerra. After all a deal is a deal, even if it’s a bad deal for the taxpayers who the mayor and council were supposed to represent. I can’t blame any employee for wanting to get the best deal possible. I do blame our elected representatives for not protecting the taxpayers. The fact that other jurisdictions may pay cops more than SJ is not the point, since those cities appear to be able to pay their cops more than SJ does without letting their infrastructure go to hell in a hand basket as SJ has done for at least the last two decades. For instance, when driving you can tell immediately when you leave SJ and enter another city by how much better the roads are. There is something terribly wrong with SJ’s budget priorities; too many giveaways while the city crumbles around us. And we are apparently going to be asked yet again to OK several more tax increases in June and November. I wish the new Chief the best. As for our Mayor and Council, not so much. For yet another year they trot out this dog and pony show of asking the citizens what their priorities are for the budget, and then ignore our responses.