San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia is a finalist for the top cop job in Dallas, the chief confirmed Thursday.
Garcia is among seven finalists named from a pool of 36 applicants for the Dallas job.
Garcia is scheduled to step down from the San Jose Police Department this month after nearly 30 years with the department. His last day is Saturday, and he lamented his departure from SJPD during an interview Thursday.
"We had a lot of successes in our time here, not only in the almost 29 years I've been here but also in the five years I've been chief," Garcia told NBC Bay Area, speaking still as the San Jose chief. "We've had areas where we can improve; we've made mistakes. But we learned from them, and we'll continue to learn from them, and we will get better as an organization."
Garcia is credited with rebuilding San Jose's department after pension reform caused a mass exodus of officers. Now he says the department is on a solid foundation within, and in the community.
“I’ve been in communication with the mayor in Dallas, and I told Eric Johnson that they would be incredibly blessed to have Eddie Garcia as their police chief," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Rick Callender is the new California president of the NAACP and said, “It’s a huge loss for San Jose and gain for Dallas if he got selected … Dallas definitely needs someone who knows how to work with communities of color who implements that into decision making.
"I'm humbled to be one of seven finalists for this position," he continued, "and there is no way that I would even be in this position if not for the men and women that work in this police department."
San Jose Police Officers Association President Paul Kelly provided the following statement on Thursday:
"Chief Garcia has served the residents of San Jose admirably and has worked collaboratively and proactively to improve police and community outcomes. He has joined with the POA to bring additional transparency to our profession and played an important role in rebuilding staffing to meet the challenges of modern day policing and Dallas would be lucky to have him."