Captain Federico Rocha
Magda Gonzáles, East Palo Alto’s city manager, announced that East Palo Alto Police Captain Federico Rocha will serve as the city’s interim police chief.
Gonzáles made the announcement on Friday, November 1, exactly one week to the day that she announced on Friday, October 25, that Ron Davis had resigned as the city's chief of police.
Davis officially leaves his position with the city on November 8, and will assume the position of Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
Rocha starts his term as the interim police chief on Monday, November 11.
In announcing the appointment, González said, “Captain Rocha’s wide experience, leadership abilities, and proven track record both here and throughout his career make him an excellent in-house choice to fill this interim role. I have great confidence in his capability to most effectively lead the men and women of our police organization as we go through the recruitment and hiring process,” she said.
For some residents, Rocha’s appointment as the interim police chief did not come as a surprise. Rocha’s name first surfaced in the city publicly in February 2011, when he was captain of Criminal Investigations Division Violence Interdiction Team spearheading the Operation Ceasefire program. See Chatting with the Chief about crime reduction.
Then, on March 5, 2012, the day Davis became East Palo Alto’s interim city manager, Davis announced that he had selected Rocha to replace him as the city’s interim police chief. See more background information at A major question is answered_1456. See Rocha’s complete bio here.
One East Palo Alto resident, Michael Francois, said that Rocha was a natural replacement for Davis given his work history in the city.
City officials must now decide the process the city will use for appointing a permanent chief of police.
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Henrietta J. Burroughs, the author of this article, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.