Home News SJPD second-in-command selected as interim chief

SJPD second-in-command selected as interim chief


SAN JOSE — Paul Joseph, currently the second-in-command at the San Jose Police Department, will become interim chief when Chief Anthony Mata leaves at the end of the month, according to multiple department sources.

The appointment of Joseph should not come as a surprise, since assistant chiefs often serve the interim role upon a chief’s departure. This was the case for the past two leadership changes, when Eddie Garcia succeeded Larry Esquivel in 2016 — and who quickly got the permanent job — and Dave Knopf served as interim chief between when Garcia retired in 2020 and when Mata took the top post in 2021.

Mata announced at the beginning of the year that he would be retiring from SJPD after 28 years to become chief of the Bureau of Investigations at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

News of Joseph’s promotion was announced through a department-wide email to SJPD on Friday that cited City Manager Jennifer Maguire, who in addition to making the announcement, reiterated plans for a permanent chief search this year. Neither Joseph, the city nor the police department immediately returned a request for comment Sunday.

Joseph actually has 30 years with SJPD, which is more than his predecessor Mata, who elevated Joseph from captain to assistant chief when he took over.

Joseph joined the police department in 1994 after two-and-a-half years as an officer in San Mateo, and in San Jose has worked patrol, narcotics enforcement, SWAT duty and robbery investigations. As a sergeant, he supervised patrol officers and field training, and as a lieutenant, he headed the robbery and homicide divisions. He was promoted to captain in 2020, and served in that role for a year before he took his current position, bypassing the deputy chief level in the department’s hierarchy.

During his time as assistant chief, Joseph backed Mata’s broad push for transparency in the police department amid a string of officer misconduct scandals, which most recently has come to include a now-former officer behind a trove of racist texts, including messages that mocked a man he shot and wounded.

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