San Jose's acting police chief is a South Bay native who told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday that he has no interest in being tapped to become the full-time city's top cop.
Deputy Chief of Police Larry Esquivel said he was tapped by City Manager Debra Figone to fill in when Police Chief Chris Moore leaves on Jan. 18, but that he doesn't want to apply for the gig in a permanent way. He's spent 27 years on the San Jose police force.
"I'm honored to serve," Esquivel said politely, saying that he has "no interest" in the chief's job for "personal" reasons.
San Jose has had a rising homicide rate and is facing budget cuts and low morale among some of the ranks. Esquivel said he's aware of the challenges and his "top priority" is keeping officers in San Jose.
Figone announced Esquivel's interim position Monday evening after NBC Bay Area first reported on Jan. 10 that the city was re-starting its search for Moore's replacement. Sources told NBC Bay Area some community leaders didn't approve the candidates after meeting with them, and other sources said that they heard none of the qualified candidates wanted the job. City leaders will not confirm these rumors.
Jim Unland, president of the Police Officer's Association, has no qualms with Esquivel at the helm.
"He's a good cop and he's well respected," Unland said, declining to say any more about starting again for a new chief.
Esquivel, who was born in San Jose and attended Yerba Buena High, has served in his current capacity since February 2012.
He began his career as a San Jose police reserve officer in 1984 before being hired as full officer in 1986. He has a history that includes stints in patrol, narcotics enforcement, special operations-MERGE, investigations and internal affairs
He was promoted to captain in 2010 and elevated to acting deputy chief - Bureau of Investigations in August 2011 before the interim tag was removed in February.
"Regarding the current search for our next chief, we are continuing our efforts in earnest," Figone wrote. "We will take the time we need to find the right match of qualifications, experience, and personal attributes that will be best for San Jose and the department and to establish the foundation for