BART names first Latino police chief: Carlos Rojas from Santa Ana

OAKLAND — BART made it official on Friday: ex-Santa Ana police chief Carlos Rojas has been hired to lead the BART Police Department.

Rojas has been a police officer since 1990 and was the chief of the Santa Ana Police Department for almost three years before his resignation this week.

In a news release issued Friday, BART officials described Rojas as an advocate and educator in community-oriented policing and “brings a wealth of Homeland Security” expertise.

“The 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,” BART General Manager Grace Crunican said in a news release. “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.”

Rojas’ decision to take the job as BART’s police chief amid some criticism in Santa Ana over increased crime, particularly shootings, in the Orange County’s second-biggest cities, Southern California newspapers report. At BART, he will be in charge of a force of 227 sworn officers.

BART’s former Chief Kenton Rainey retired at the end of last year. BART said it used its citizen review board to help pick his replacement.

Rojas is the first Latino chief for the BART Police Department. His start date is will be in late May or early June, pending the completion of routine background checks and psychological exams, BART said.

Check back for updates.

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Source:: The Mercury News

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