(CBS SF) — BART General Manager Grace Crunican announced Friday that BART is hiring Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas to be the transit agency’s new police chief.
Rojas, who’s expected to begin working at BART in late May or early June, will replace former chief Kenton Rainey, who retired at the end of last year after seven years as chief.
Rojas has been Santa Ana’s police chief for the last five years and has worked for the department in Orange County since 1990.
BART officials said in a statement, “Rojas brings 27 years of extensive experience and leadership in community policing. He is not only an advocate but also an educator in community-oriented policing practices, having trained the discipline to national police forces in Central America and having taught and mentored college students on the subject.”
They said Rojas also brings U.S. Department of Homeland Security expertise and knowledge to BART.
“The (BART) police department has been moving in the right direction and I am confident that our new chief will accelerate our efforts to increase the visibility of police officers on our trains and in our stations,” Crunican said in a statement.
Crunican said, “I have asked the new chief to focus attention on our police recruitment practices to ensure the department is able to hire a full complement of officers.”
BART’s Citizen Review Board participated in the hiring of Rojas, according to transit agency officials.
Cydia Garrett, the group’s chairperson, said, “Chief Rojas is a great choice and I’m confident he will provide strong leadership as the department’s new chief.”
BART officials said Rojas is a recipient of multiple law enforcement Medals of Valor, is bilingual in English and Spanish and is the department’s first Latino police chief.
They said their job offer is contingent upon Rojas’ successful completion of psychological exams and a satisfactory background check, which could take up to 30 days to complete.
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