Anthony Mata selected as next San Jose Police Department chief

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The San Jose City Council announced Tuesday afternoon that it has selected Anthony Mata as the new chief of police.

According to the city, Mata brings 30 years of law enforcement experience to his role, which he will officially begin on March 22.

Mata began his career with the San Jose Police Department in March 1996 as a police officer. He rose through the ranks of SJPD, recently serving as an executive officer and deputy chief for over four years.
"It is the greatest honor of my professional career to lead this great department at this time of needed social and organizational change. I humbly but enthusiastically approach the challenge of guiding and supporting our dedicated workforce while also advocating for our community as we re-imagine community safety together," expressed Chief Mata.

Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco remembers Mata as her first Captain when she started representing District 5. She believes he's the right person for the job and deserves the community's support.

"We know the same families, we interact in the same schools, we live within the same vicinity. He's not just vested in the community at a professional level. He's vested in the community at a very, very personal level. He's part of the fabric of the city of San Jose," she said.

Mata was one of six finalists put through a public recruitment process. In a statement, City Manager David Sykes said : Chief Mata demonstrated his ability to lead policing in the 21st century for the City of San José, to build trust with our community, and manage the leanest police force of any big city in the nation.

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A big challenge for the police chief, healing divides after last year's Black Lives Matter protests turned violent. SJPD in riot gear fired rubber bullets into a crowd of protestors last May, one community activist -- Derrick Sanderlin was seriously injured.

The NAACP has filed a lawsuit against the city, representing demonstrators from that protest.

"The violent interactions that San Jose Police Department have had with residents does come from leadership. And so our hope is that this leadership really begins with a reconciliation." said Tifanei Ressl-Moyer, the Thurgood Marshall Fellow with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area, "San Jose has a long history of violent and discriminatory interactions with their police, between police and residents. Our hope is that the police chief realizes that and takes practical steps to move forward."
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