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San José's Eddie Garcia Will Be Dallas' Next Police Chief

Eddie Garcia in San José PD uniform in front of American flag.
San José Police Department
Eddie Garcia

City Manager T.C. Broadnax announced Wednesday that Garcia will become the city's 30th chief of police and the first Latino to lead the department.

Dallas has selected a new police chief.

Eddie Garcia comes from the San José Police Department, where he started in 1992 and has served as chief since 2016.

“My story began as a young boy moving to a new city, learning to speak English in a community that promoted me to Chief. It’s an honor to be welcomed into one of America’s greatest cities for the second time as Chief,” Garcia said in a statement.

“I’m truly humbled by the thought of wearing the DPD uniform and working alongside such an amazing group of committed men and women. Together in partnership and collaboration with the Dallas community, we will meet the challenges of today and beyond.”

The process of picking the next person in command was rigorous and competitive — and done virtually to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Chief Reneé Hall, who became the first woman and the first Black woman to lead the Dallas force, announced her resignation in September following criticism for her department’s response to this summer's protests against police brutality.

According San José paper The Mercury News, the police department there has faced similar scrutiny over its aggressive response to protesters, prompting the department to conditionally ban the use of rubber bullets after injuring many demonstrators. So far, The Mercury News reports, allegations over excessive force are still under internal investigation, and no formal discipline for any officers related to the protests has been disclosed.

Garcia spoke about the criticism with Bay Area TV station KPIX after he announced his retirement.

"We made some mistakes," he said. "There was violence in what erupted that I had never seen in the 29, nearly 30 years that I’ve been here. Not to say that we’re perfect — but we will learn from that. We will get better."

San José police officers in police face shields make a line blocking a street .
Adhiti Bandlamudi
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KQED
San Jose Police stand in front of a closed off intersection of the city’s downtown area on May 29, 2020. Hundreds of people marched throughout the city’s downtown protesting the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.

According to The Mercury News, his pension there will pay him about a quarter million dollars a year.

Garcia was among seven finalists for the chief job in Dallas who went through final round interviews last week — including a livestreamed public interview Wednesday.

“I’m pleased to see this inclusive, equitable and transparent process culminate successfully with the hire of Chief Garcia,” City Manager T.C. Broadnax said in a statement. “Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, it’s an exciting time for him to come to Dallas and continue building on the foundation of R.E.A.L. Change we’ve built —advancing 21st century policing in ways that are responsible, equitable, actionable, and legitimate.”

According to a statement from the the city, Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree from Union Institute and University. Before becoming chief in San José he worked Patrol, Narcotics and Special Operations. He has held the positions of patrol sergeant, night detective and homicide investigator and commanded the Community Services Division and the Special Investigations Unit.

The city also said Garcia has led initiatives to help build community trust, increase transparency and embrace fair, impartial and constitutional policing.

Garcia also implemented basic Spanish instruction in the San José police academy, launched a Spanish-language Facebook page for the department and significantly increased minority recruiting.

He is expected to begin his duties as Dallas police chief Feb. 3.

KERA's Bret Jaspers contributed to this story.

Got a tip? Email Gabrielle Jones at gjones@kera.org. You can follow Gabrielle on Twitter @gabrielleNjones.

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