After a nationwide recruitment, the San José City Council confirmed Anthony Mata as San José’s new chief of police. Chief Mata brings 30 years of broad and progressive law enforcement experience to the role he will fill on March 22, 2021.
“The challenges faced by police departments across the nation require courageous leadership and collaboration with the communities they serve. Through the very rigorous recruitment and selection process, Chief Mata demonstrated his ability to lead policing in the 21st century for the City of San José, to build trust with our community, and manage the leanest police force of any big city in the nation,” said City Manager David Sykes.
“Although we had many excellent candidates, Chief Mata’s extensive experience, genuine passion for public service, and his dedication to SJPD will serve him and our city well in his new leadership role. I look forward to working with Chief Mata to reimagine policing, reduce criminal activity in our neighborhoods, and build critical bridges between our officers and the community they serve,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Chief Mata is a native of the City of Chicago. He moved to San José to join the San José Police Department (SJPD) as a police officer in March 1996. He served in all ranks of the SJPD and ascended to deputy chief. Currently, he serves as the SJPD executive officer and has been a deputy chief for over four years. He manages the chief’s office and oversees several regulatory units, and the crime data center. As a deputy chief, Mata managed patrol operations for over two years before his executive officer role. As a captain, he spent time running a patrol division and a unit within the bureau of investigations. As a lieutenant, he worked in patrol, administration, and research and development.
“It is the greatest honor of my professional career to lead this great department at this time of needed social and organizational change. I humbly but enthusiastically approach the challenge of guiding and supporting our dedicated workforce while also advocating for our community as we re-imagine community safety together,” expressed Chief Mata.
The confirmation of Chief Mata comes after a rigorous and highly visible recruitment process. Community engagement is essential to transformational change and to help decipher what it would take to get there. The community engagement process began with a series of meetings with the community and stakeholders to request feedback on what qualities, skills and abilities an SJPD chief should embody. That community feedback informed the recruitment brochure. Once final candidates were selected, a multi-lingual community survey was distributed via diverse channels to ensure residents and the SJPD workforce could submit questions to be asked during a candidate forum. The forum was followed by community interview panels that included members of community and faith-based organizations, neighborhood associations, racial equity/civil rights organizations, SJPD employees, the San José Police Officers Association, and partner law enforcement agencies.
“I am ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead and to lead our great workforce in positive changes for the betterment of department members and the community. I will improve our police services through community partnerships and will engage in inter-departmental efforts to ensure that together we provide the best services to our entire community,” said Chief Mata.
The chief of police position plays an important role in the leadership of the City. Chief Mata will continue working with the community, city leaders, and stakeholders to co-create a new vision for public safety in San José. He will lead one of the leanest and most efficient major city police agencies in the country with 1,157 sworn officers and 558 civilian employees.
Mata lives in San José. He is bilingual (Spanish) and holds a Master of Public Administration from San José State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.