SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) _ South Bay residents say they want the next San Jose police chief to be able to communicate with the city’s diverse population.

Residents have already been weighing in on the issue, as several community meetings have been held to gather input.

Many have said they want the replacement for Chief Rob Davis to have experience with diverse populations, namely immigrants and minorities.

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The question remains, could that bring a person of color to the position?

“It would have a big, symbolic impact,” said San Jose State political science professor Terry Christensen. “We’ve had one Latino police chief in our history. All the others have been Caucasian. A minority person, a person of color would send a message to the community and to the officers in the department. But that person is going to have a challenge both in community relations and in leading the police department.”

Christenson said the police department has historically had problems with community relations that date back to the 1970’s.

Chief Rob Davis, who has been in the department for 30 years, has served the last six as chief.

He said he intends to retire at the end of October.


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