SJPD Chief Larry Esquivel was introduced by SJPD Deputy Chief Eddie Garcia as the ‘guest speaker’ for the La Raza Roundtable monthly meeting of November 20, 2015 held at ConXion to Community (formerly CTC), 749 Story Road, San Jose, CA 95122.
Deputy Chief Eddie Garcia summarized years of personal friendship and professional association with Chief Esquivel, whose family resides in East San Jose. The Chief is a local resident who will leave the SJPD after 30 years of service, to become Police Chief of Tracy, California, a nearby San Joaquin Valley community only one hour away. Garcia told the audience, estimated at 50 community members, that as a teenager, Larry Esquivel’s passion was ‘to be a cop who got the bad guys’. He thanked Chief Esquivel for being an excellent mentor, for providing a comprehensive ‘play book’ which made his job as Deputy Police Chief much easier, and for being a very good friend and role model who has prepared him for the opportunity of being ‘interim SJPD Chief’.
Chief Larry Esquivel related in summary from several beliefs which he had developed as a youth from the ‘East Side Hood’. He had parents who, by their life-styles conveyed a commitment to working hard while providing the essential support. Larry was able to be a volunteer, to take advantage of ‘rides with police’ which familiarized him with their public safety vocation. He is committed to doing what is possible to provide mentors, role models, and opportunities to San Jose’s youth, especially those from the East Side San Jose Community where he grew up and his family still resides. He became a teenage parent who attended night schools to acquire his college education after graduation from high school and does have a Master’s Degree. He climbed the police career ladder once he was hired and successfully completed the required Police Academy training. His approach was “I want to be the best police Officer I can be so I can have opportunities to make desired changes.” Earlier today the Police Academy had a graduation of a new group of police rookies who will continue to undergo ‘on the job’ training.
As a progressive, Esquivel guided the development of policies and procedures for the body-worn cameras (BWC) which the SJPD will soon deploy. His attitude was “This is a coming technology which we will need, so let’s not resist it; rather, let’s be in on its acceptance so that we, the police, may influence how this video technology will be used. As a member of the San Jose Independent Police Auditor’s Community Advisory Committee over the past six years, I can testify to the on-going deliberations which happened between the SJ-IPA and Chief Esquivel, an excellent negotiator who gave as much as he got.
Chief Esquivel presided over a police force which numbered about 760 sworn officers during a time when the normal complement of 1,500 had been depleted by contract and retirement funding issuesl used by many to resign and go elsewhere. Creative retention efforts and redeployment of remaining police force were instrumental in maintaining community safety and security.
LRRT Chair Victor Garza thanked Chief Esquivel for changing the policies used at vehicle check points. Undocumented (unlicensed) individual’s vehicles were no longer impounded. A time period was allowed which enabled a licensed driver to recover the vehicle. Hilbert Morales thanked Chief Esquivel for extending an interview by EO’s journalism intern (Cinthia Rodriquez, Fresno). Mariachi Mundial de Juan Reyes performed during the celebration that followed. Food and refreshments were provided by Jose Melendez’s Liquid Refreshments & Lounge.