San Jose will soon be looking for a new police chief.
Late Wednesday afternoon, after 30 years with the department, Chief Larry Esquivel announced he will step down on Jan. 16, 2016. Assistant Chief Eddie Garcia will be appointed interim chief.
Esquivel has served as chief since January 2013. Esquivel rose to the very top of the department In the midst of turmoil over pensions that led to a massive exodus of officers.
"Chief Esquivel led this department through the darkest time in the history of the SJPD," Garcia said in a statement. "He set a course for what was thought of as a rudderless ship. Now that we have negotiated pension reform and continue to work on fair and comparable wages for our men and women, we will rebuild. Chief Esquivel has taken us to the starting blocks."
“I feel it's time for the next generation to lead, which will open up leadership opportunities for others,” Esquivel said in a statement. “I'm confident we're now on the right path toward stability and growth under our current leadership teams, and I know I'm leaving our department in very capable hands."
A spokesperson for the rank-and-file San Jose police union said the union's "thoughts and prayers are focused solely on our fallen brother in Hayward. ... As for Chief Esquivel, we wish him the best in his retirement."
The city has not revealed any timetable on the search for a new chief.
NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo and Robert Handa contributed to this report.