After 30 years on the force and four years as chief of the San Jose PD, Eddie Garcia has called it quits—at least in this town. The 50-year-old lawman landed on the short list to take the reins from soon-to-retire Reneé Hall as top cop in Dallas, which would bump him up from policing the 10th largest American city to the ninth.
The question now is who will replace Eddie?
Though the city procured Public Sector Search & Consulting to find contenders from around the country, it’s widely believed the next chief will rise from the ranks of SJPD’s existing staff. In that event, insiders say, it’s likely to be one of three SJPD lifers: David Tindall, Anthony Mata or Heather Randol.
Almost 29 yrs, it’s a wrap.Steve Jobs said,“If you want to be liked by everyone,don’t be a leader. Sell ice cream.”Thank you @sliccardo and City manager’s Duenas and Sykes for believing in me.Thank you San Jose!To my men and women, it was honor fighting for you. Stay the course. pic.twitter.com/J1BEcDry9C
— Chief Eddie Garcia (Ret.) (@sjpdchief) December 13, 2020
Tindall joined SJPD in 1995 and climbed the ladder to become acting assistant police chief earlier this year. Mata arrived in 1996 and—propelled by a higher degree in public administration—ascended to the upper echelons of the department, becoming deputy chief in the Office of the Chief Executive Officer.
Both are generally well-liked internally; Mata even earned high praise from Danny Garza, the notoriously critical president of the Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association in San Jose’s heavily policed East Side.
But the prevailing assumption casts Randol as heir apparent.
Eddie García moved to @CityofSanJose as a young boy learning English. Since our days working felony cases 2 decades ago, when I was a DA, I sensed that he’d become @sjpdchief someday. He rebuilt the dept w/strong leadership, restoring pride of SJPD & residents. Thank you, Eddie https://t.co/XyCONxoJBQ
— Sam Liccardo (@sliccardo) December 13, 2020
A veteran with nearly 23 years at the agency, Randol came to SJPD armed with a psychology degree from UC San Diego and a couple years of experience as a behavioral therapist. She started out as a lieutenant in SJPD’s recruiting division before her promotion to captain at the Western Division Bureau of Field Operations.
Last year, she made SJPD history as the first woman to lead the department’s detective units. We’re still a few months away from the City Council naming the next chief, but Randol seems well-positioned to shatter yet another glass ceiling.
Whoever lands the job will take over a department that’s bigger than it’s been in years, with a budget that’s grown by nearly 160 percent in the past decade, at a time of historic backlash against over-policing and systemic abuses in law enforcement. It’s a tall order. And it’s up for debate whether an insider is even up for the task, or if the city needs an outside perspective to enact meaningful change.
Below is a description of the job shared by the recruiting firm, which is accepting applications through the end of the month.
Chief of Police
San Jose, Calif.
A national search is underway to attract a community-minded, reform-oriented police chief to lead the San Jose Police Department (SJPD). San Jose is the 10th largest city in the nation with more than one million residents. This is an incredible opportunity to lead one of the nation’s top law enforcement agencies at a time of historic social awakening with respect to systemic racism, political unrest, and segments of the community questioning the role of police in public safety.
San Jose has a robust police reforms work plan and is poised to begin reimagining community safety through a public discourse that will include many voices.
The selected candidate must be open-minded and ready to engage in a dialogue that challenges conventional wisdom and embraces new approaches to public safety. Successful candidates will have an exceptional career history in a major metropolitan area and will be known for being a reformer, who is engaging, inclusive, insightful and adaptable. The next police chief will continue working with the community, city leadership, and stakeholders to create a new vision for public safety in San Jose.
With a 2020-21 budget of $471.5 million, the SJPD is one of the leanest and most efficient major city police agencies in the country with 1,157 sworn officers and 558 civilian employees.
This position requires at least five years of command experience at the highest levels in a large municipal police department and a proven and demonstrated track record of working effectively in a culturally and ethnically diverse community. Experience should also include developing and implementing innovative crime reduction and community policing strategies.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in criminal justice, law, public administration, political science, or a related field is required. A master’s degree in public administration or a related field is highly desirable. Advanced executive training or the ability to speak another language is considered a plus.
The current salary range for this at-will position is $184,468 to $288,326 annually and placement within the range will be based on the selected candidates’ qualifications. This selected candidate may also qualify for up to 12.75 percent in additional pay. The city provides excellent benefits.
Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately by submitting a resume, compelling cover letter, and list of professional references via email to [email protected].
Candidates are encouraged to apply by Dec. 31, 2020.
This position will be considered open until a final selection is made.
Candidates should direct inquiries and questions regarding this position or the recruitment process to Mr. Gary Peterson (chief of police, ret.) at Public Sector Search & Consulting, Inc. Contact information: 916.622.5323 or [email protected]. The brochure for the position can be viewed at www.publicsectorsearch.com.