Office of the Chief of Police
Chief of Police
On May 6th, 2014, Chief Rojas was appointed as the 20th Police Chief for the city of Santa Ana. He will oversee a police department of almost 600 employees who serve Santa Ana’s residents and businesses.
Chief Rojas began his career as a patrol officer in January 1990 and rose through the ranks of the Santa Ana Police Department. Over the years, he has served in numerous capacities at the rank of corporal, sergeant, commander and deputy chief. Chief Rojas developed the Homeland Security Division of the Santa Ana Police Department after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Chief Rojas is a Medal of Valor recipient from the United States Customs Service, Santa Ana Police Department and the Federal Bar Association. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class 233, the WestPoint Leadership Program and the USC-CREATE Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism. Chief Rojas has served in an international capacity training the Panamanian, Guatemalan and Salvadoran National Police Forces on community policing in collaboration with the International City and County Administrators Association. Chief Rojas has a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach.
Chief Rojas' Executive Officer, Commander Jose Gonzalez, handles a variety of special projects for the Chief and also oversees the Public Information Officer, Professional Standards (Internal Affairs), and the Honor Guard. Professional Standards is staffed by four police sergeants, a police corporal, and two part-time office assistants. This unit is responsible for investigating allegations of employee misconduct, officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, as well as conducting organizational audits and representing the Department in providing records during court hearings. The Honor Guard is voluntary assignment of members who represent the Department at funerals and other public functions.
The Public Information Officer (PIO), Corporal Anthony Bertagna, is responsible for providing timely and transparent information to the media and members of the public concerning police matters. By actively utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Nixle, and Instagram, the Department has increased its ability to efficiently provide the public with information concerning public safety matters.
The Police Legal Advisor, Laura Rossini, is a Santa Ana Senior Assistant City Attorney who is assigned full-time to provide legal advice to the Chief of Police and the entire Department. In addition, the Police Legal Advisor often represents the Department in litigation and other legal functions pertaining to police matters.
The Office of the Chief also processes numerous permits for a variety of establishments throughout the city, including: alarm, massage, firearms dealer, bingo, pool/billiards, and other permits. To accomplish this, along with the numerous other administrative tasks required of the Office of the Chief, a Police Investigative Specialist and two part-time clerical aides work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure professional and responsible service.