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East Palo Alto announces interim police chief

Federico Rocha has worked within the department, running anti-gang and anti-violence programs

East Palo Alto City Manager Magda Gonzalez announced today that Cpt. Federico Rocha will succeed Police Chief Ronald Davis.

Davis, who has held the position for eight years, will become director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) -- a collection of community-policing practices that aim to build greater trust with residents. Davis' last day in East Palo Alto is Nov. 8.

This won't be the first time Rocha has held the job. Last year, when Davis was called upon to fill the role of acting city manager when former city manager ML Gordon suddenly left, Rocha was interim police chief for 9 months.

The city stated in a press release that it will later announce a process for finding a permanent replacement for Davis.

Rocha joined the department in 2010 as the director of its Operation Ceasefire program and was promoted in 2011 to interim captain of its investigations and operations divisions. During his time as interim captain, he participated in a number of the department's anti-gang and anti-violence programs, including its re-entry program, FIT zones and the establishment of a Special Duty Unit.

Davis and Rocha worked together in the Oakland police department, where Davis served for 20 years and Rocha 11.

Before being hired by Davis, Rocha served as a United States Marshal for Northern California for seven years. Before that he was manager for the Law Enforcement Coordination Unit at the United States Attorney's Office, where he spent eight years implementing mentoring and tutoring programs as part of anti-gang initiatives in the Bay Area.

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