Former SJPD chief Eddie Garcia named new Dallas police chief

Retired San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia is making history in Dallas as he becomes the city’s first-ever Latino police chief.

Chief Garcia goes from leading a police force in the nation’s tenth largest city to the ninth. Garcia is a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan who has a great love for the city. As he heads there, several of San Jose’s top brass want to be the next top cop.

"I’m excited equally to go to the city of Dallas," said Garcia. "I feel a connection there and I feel Christmas came early."

Retired San Jose police chief Eddie Garcia is on tap to lead the Dallas Police Department. Garcia, unable to speak English when he came to San Jose from Puerto Rico when he was five years old, was raised by a single mother.

"It doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, what language you speak, anything is possible if you want it," said Garcia.

The 50-year-old beat six other finalists, four of whom were internal candidates. Dallas city leaders said they liked Garcia’s proven leadership.

"He has been chief of police over a similar sized force as well as a city about the same size, which I think will be really beneficial to the city of Dallas," said Dallas Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates.

Garcia spent nearly three decades with San Jose Police, the last four years as chief. He heads to a city grappling with a rising homicide rate and similar issues he faced in San Jose of police mistrust over the handling of George Floyd protestors.

"The tactics we learned, we need to change those tactics," said Garcia. "We need to tweak the tactics but the goals will always remain the same."

Former San Jose Police Dept Chief Eddie Garcia.

"It’s not a surprise but we hate losing him as our police chief," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Liccardo said a national search is underway for Garcia's replacement. Liccardo is looking for innovative policing, someone who can build bridges and rebuild the department.

"I know there are several members of the police brass who have put in their names," said Liccardo.

"The next best chief we have for San Jose is already in San Jose," said San Jose Police Officers’ Association President Sgt. Paul Kelly.

The police union said three of the four deputy chiefs have expressed interest in becoming the new police chief. Historically, the city of San Jose has chosen someone from within the department.

"Chief Garcia getting the chief position in Dallas kind of says it all," said Sgt. Kelly. "If we weren't doing things right in San Jose, Dallas would have found out."

The mayor said the city will receive community input in the coming weeks. He hopes to announce a new chief in the Spring.