SJ’s Police Chief Selection Raises Concerns About Favoritism

All but one of the finalists angling to become San Jose’s next chief constable—namely Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Police Chief Larry Scirroto—have some sort of tie to the department, whether as current or former officers.

But with the day fast approaching for the city to fill the position, the local police union has been frantically lobbying for that position to go to a member of ex-Chief Eddie Garcia’s inner circle.

“One of the things that’s bothered me about this whole process is how incestuous it is,” a high-ranking city official tells Fly. “The people who end up in the top brass are either buddy-buddy, in-laws or somehow related to each other.”

City Manager Dave Sykes is expected in the coming week or so to issue a recommendation for one of four contenders: Scirroto, Interim Chief David Tindall and deputy chiefs Anthony Mata and Heather Randol. The San Jose Police Officers’ Association (POA) is making a strong push for either Tindall or Randol—the former who went through MERGE (SJPD’s version of SWAT).

“Almost everyone up there at the top is part of a group of friends, workout partners or even family,” affirms an observer familiar with the department’s inner workings.

“If you were part of MERGE, you get promoted,” another source goes on to say, “including [Garcia predecessor] Larry Esquivel and Randol’s husband,” retired SJPD Capt. James Randol.

“They call them the ‘Morgan Hill Mafia,’” another says of the command staff, “because pretty much all of them live in Morgan Hill.”

And pretty much all have seen “a pretty meteoric rise” to the upper ranks in no small part because of their personal affiliations, the source adds.

“That’s been the status quo for a while now,” they say, “and there’s a concerted effort going on behind the scenes to keep it that way.”

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Heather Randol worked in MERGE. San Jose Inside regrets the error.

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  1. Why is it ways an insider now? San Jose has not had a Police Chief in the Caliber of Joseph D. McNamara since 1991. Joseph D. McNamara was a man of honor who believed in Community Policing, was against the war on drugs, for the legalization of marijuana, earned a Doctorate in Public Administration at Harvard. he was against tolerance for misconduct and excessive force by his officers, he said “Officer safety should never supersede democratic policing, where police officers adhere to their role as public servants willing to take reasonable risks to protect and serve.”
    Now in San Jose it is Fire, then aim. We need a police chief of the caliber of Chief McNamara now.

  2. The Muppets (SJPD Upper Brass) need to kick rocks and move to Dallas Texas with our old Police Chief “Pumpkin Head”

    I will not support any of these finalists and our community as a whole should put their foot down. NO>>>>>NO>>>>>NO>>>>

    These are situations where civil unrest is necessary to stop a “Regime” from continuing their bad behavior.

    These are the same “bad actors” that have ran this department into the ground for years.

    Would love to start organizing daily protest at SJPD and City Hall to show our elected officials that we are not OK with this SCAM of a process to pick a new chief….

    I have personally dealt with the Upper Brass at SJPD and they have done me dirty….real dirty….

    It is no easy task to take on a corrupt agency like the San Jose Police Department but it is possible.

    Its now or never folks to put a stop to this before we get Eddie Garcia 2.0 at the helm for another five years of Bull Shat…..

    The residents of San Jose are fed up with how this department is ran….

    We need leadership to come from outside the department….. No more “Morgan Hill Mafia” or Eddie’s BFF’s (Tommy “Tow Scam” Troy) Google his “NEW” private security company down in LA….THOMAS DALE & ASSOCIATES…. Guess how many of Eddie’s other friends own and operate private security companies?? Eddie made sure to promote all his cronies before he bailed on the city to go destroy the Dallas Police Department. Once these rotten apples got their BIG TITLES they also jumped off the San Jose train to go set up their hustle in other cities or in the private sector.

    FYI…. The rank and file have ALL been talking and they are also tired of the Muppet’s in charge. These are the same good men and women that got passed over year after year for promotions they deserved….Dick more Eddie!!!!

    It’s also MORE THEN TIME for POA president Paul Kelly to find a new gig…. He is a big part of the problem and needs to go….

  3. Heather Randol was never on the MERGE Team, which seems to be the center of your argument. Typical BS news, never fact checking.

  4. We should do an audit on the SWAT Merge group to see how ?many African Americans/Black People have participated as members of this elite group of Police seeing that this is the road for leadership in the department. How many Black females have risen through their ranks or been given the same opportunities as others.

  5. “We should do an audit on the SWAT Merge group to see how ?many African Americans/Black People have participated as members of this elite group…” — Jethroe Moore

    There is nothing elite about a SWAT unit. They train to perform a particular function as a team and are armed and outfitted appropriately, no different than the bomb squad or a narcotics buy-team. The decision to join might be career-related for some, but I doubt the current over-representation of former members among the command staff (if there is one) is anything but an anomaly.

    It seems to me that if a man purporting to be a credible representative of SJ’s black population has questions about the experiences of black police officers he should be able to do better than post them on a website. It also seems that if one believes blacks to be equal in their abilities to others applicants, and equal in backbone (to demand what is rightfully theirs), then one would trust that, absent any evidence to the contrary, there is no cause for concern.

    Could it be that Jethroe Moore doesn’t have the faith in black police officers that they deserve?

  6. But one of Eddie’s BFF, her husband James Randol was in the unit. It is an incestuous fraternity. Many dorks with identity and ego baggage. Unfortunately the kneeling city manager and mayor are too scared to go outside and get a true maverick chief. Let’s be honest. If Heather Randol were a lesbian African American, she would have the Trifecta and get the job and a raise.

  7. FLY, Research V5 Systems. Senior VP Operation Jeff Smith is retired SJPD Merge/Swat and current or former employees of V5 are retired SJPD and former Merge/Swat. City of SJ showing favoritism. Worth some research. Something smells wrong.

  8. This site seems more like a gossip rag than a legitimate news source. All the errors, speculation and rumors. Very disappointing.

  9. So if a number of people live in Morgan Hill because the costs are less, now they are called a Mafia? Reeeeeally??

    Name your sources, Fly.

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