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UC Santa Cruz Police names interim chief

ucsc interim chief
UC Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV) -- The UC Santa Cruz Police Department has named Lieutenant Mary Garcia as its interim chief.

A statement from UCSC says Garcia has 23 years of law enforcement experience and has been stationed at UCSC since last year.

Prior to her appointment as interim chief, Lt. Garcia served as a co-instructor for UCSC Police's Community Police Academy.

Lt. Garcia' knowledge extends to sexual assault and domestic violence cases. Prior to last year she served in the UC Davis Police Department.

She also began her career in the City of Davis Police Department.

"I want to increase the dialogue and interactions between the police department and our communities," Garcia said. "To move in that direction requires a balance of respecting spaces and experiences with the need to engage."

In a conversation with UCSC, Lt. Garcia described growing up in Yolo County as a Latina and what it means to her now as a police officer.

"It wasn’t until recently when I heard a police chief from another agency speak about his experience as a person of color in law enforcement that I realized my experience was much like his." Lt. Garcia says "He put into words what I couldn’t.  He talked about how we, as persons of color, inherently carry a different and higher level of responsibility in law enforcement and our communities of color.  We have a responsibility to represent our cultures and people with respect and dignity in law enforcement.  It is also our responsibility to represent law enforcement equally to and within our communities of color."

Garcia will start her role as interim chief December 5th.

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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the Assistant News Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


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