With Garcia Out, Who’s in Line to Become SJ’s Next Police Chief?

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.

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.

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.

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  1. > 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.

    Unfortunately for Heather Randol, she has the backing of San Jose Inside, which will make people think that she’s an identity politics token.

  2. With rare exception, there is no such thing as a police chief in any big city, the position having been incrementally reduced to an illusion to be occupied by an appropriately compromised political actor. Decades of chipping away at the spirit of Civil Service and the profession’s sworn commitment to non-partisan enforcement allowed our retched political class to locate and mine the thin vein of greed and blind ambition that lies buried within even the most righteous of institutions, putting into the hands of municipal office holders a power they were never meant to have. Though police administrators seem to have forgotten it, our laws were put to paper and made knowable to protect the public from the tyranny of unknowable rules and unaccountable rulers.

    What this city needs for a chief is not someone who lusted the job so much that he or she painstakingly crafted their image to the mayor’s liking, but a genuine copper who never yearned for the job but is now pissed-off and worried enough about this city to take it.

  3. One thing is certain, the new chief will be a PC person who checks a lot of intersectional boxes on the keep everyone happy scorecard. And the funny part is that no matter how much rump kissing the new chief does, now matter how much the new chief degrades the department and supports the disastrous changes that progressives push though, the progressives will demand that the chief be fired the first time he/she/they/them/ it/(you fill in the rest, I can’t remember them all) enforces a law or backs an officer who does.

  4. > the progressives will demand that the chief be fired the first time he/she/they/them/ it/(you fill in the rest, I can’t remember them all)

    For the record, I have decided to get with the times an put my preferred pronoun on my business card.


    I got the idea from Queen Victoria.

    “We are not amused”.

  5. Well I guess no one takes the rap for shooting Derrick Sanderlin in the testicle at the protest huh?
    Dallas? The difference between 196 and 30 murders. He wasn’t a murder detective with a phenomenal clearance rate was he?
    Funny how people think they are big time after a few years in San Jose.
    But the reality is these guys just grab a few years on the job to boost up their retirement package. Do very little for anyone. Split when the heats on. And call that”leadership”. Sad.

  6. Am I the only one bothered that Garcia gets to retire from SJPD with a bloated 6 figure retirement income, and then move to Dallas and collect a 2nd bloated 6 figure income? And you wonder why our pension fund is underfunded.

  7. The “pension fund” is underfunded due to the elected people who divert their financial responsibilities elsewhere.

    Quit wasting money on “national searches.” Hire from within the ranks.

    David S. Wall

  8. @Phu Tan Elli: Thanks for weighing in, Mr. Bullwer-Lytton. You’d think such a gifted writer would do a better job concealing the fact that he’s a badge-licking simp.

    Face it: running a large government agency is the job for a politician. No one with any sense wants a “genuine copper” in control of their city’s police department. That’s how you get Bernard Kerik.

    Fortunately, Officer Genuine Copper usually takes himself out of the running before he even passes the sergeant’s test. Typically this happens as he’s drinking his way through yet another IA investigation (for non-partisan enforcement, of course) while trying to negotiate the smallest alimony settlement ever with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

    Let people who know how to deal with the public, the press, and city hall run the police department. It takes more than pretext car stops and lucky warrant checks to make a leader. The rest of us don’t want to live under the tyranny of an unaccountable “Blue Lives Matter!” police chief.

    Stop worrying and stop being pissed off. The city and the PD will be fine.

  9. @ Gregory Thunders

    What a delightful response! A proud, no holds barred example of what happens when emotions trump intellect; an example that, thankfully, leaves no windows broken, no statues defaced, no businesses burned, and no innocents bloodied.

    You suggest I accept that running a police department is the job for a politician. To this I have to conclude you believe a police chief should be a politician in the same way as is an elected mayor, legislator, etc.. Well enough, in those rare cities, like Santa Clara, where the chief is an elected official answerable to voters he is sworn to serve. But not in the case of the majority of cities, where elected scoundrels have shown themselves eager to usurp police power for their own selfish desires. In such cities, San Jose being one, police chiefs are not elected and applicants for the job are not tasked with standing for election (i.e. seeking public approval). For an un-elected chief to call himself a politician, as many do, strikes me as little more than a cowardly smokescreen to facilitate escape from the ethical confines of the oath of office.

    Your response reveals you to be completely ignorant of what a genuine cop is (and isn’t). A genuine cop is much more than the nightstick-wielding meanie of your recurrent nightmares (or are they sweet dreams?). A genuine cop understands his job to be a combination of obligation and opportunity: the former governed by law and need, the latter by the public good. As such, he understands what his position compels him to do, what it prohibits him from doing, and what it allows him to do. His tasks require him to deal intimately with the public, work with a variety of government agencies, and serve citizens of every type. No aspect of his job should preclude him from advancing up the ranks, especially an unwillingness to break his oath and bend to the wants of filthy politicians.

    I get that you don’t value cops. I also get that you don’t value reason, for otherwise you would see that when a mayor commands both purse strings and a police force he effectively becomes a warlord, wielding the power to pick and choose who will receive protection, who won’t, and who will be subjected to persecution. We have examples aplenty in Minneapolis, Portland, and elsewhere, but let’s not pretend San Jose has been immune. When Sam Liccardo wanted to hide the gang problem from the public he made sure that Eddie Garcia, using his delete key and well-practiced false sincerity, made the carnage all but disappear from the crime statistics. So what if the troops from whom he demanded honesty and courage saw through his lies and capitulation? Who cared that the public was dangerously misled? Big deal that this duplicity was sure to cost more young lives? Even after being exposed the deception didn’t matter, for Eddie was protected by his warlord. And as predicted, he stands today on the precipice of the ultimate municipal pat-on-the-head, the coveted double-dip.

    At a time when journalism serves only the adolescent lunacy of press corp members we need lionhearted police chiefs to protect the public from political tyranny more than ever, lest the well-armed public be ultimately pushed into tyrannizing the tyrants.

  10. Isn’t Mata the same chief who laughed at some Officer making racist comments directly towards a middle eastern Officer in front of everyone in the squad room?

    THIS is who San Jose wants as a potential candidate? Someone who thinks racism is funny?

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