Jeff Liu, East Palo Alto's interim police chief, has been appointed to the job on a permanent basis, the city announced on Monday, April 24.
The city awarded him the top leadership position on April 14, after an extensive recruitment and selection process that included community members, city staff and the council.
He began his law enforcement career in East Palo Alto as a police officer in September 2000 and served in the patrol and investigations units. He became a sergeant in January 2009, supervising patrol teams and the investigations bureau for six years, according to a statement from the city.
In March 2015, he was promoted to commander, a senior leadership role that oversaw all patrol and investigations bureau functions. Liu remained a commander until January 2021, when he first became acting, and later, interim chief of police.
"With over 20 years of experience working here in the city of East Palo Alto, Jeff has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our residents. His heart, passion and love for community are qualities that will ensure East Palo Alto continues to be a shining example of how to ensure the highest levels of safety while also being mindful of justice and social responsibility," Vice Mayor Antonio Lopez said in the statement.
Liu also serves as a board member at the Forensic Science Research Center at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) and the Wine Country Marines. He is also an instructor in police cadets training and development at police academies throughout the Bay Area. He has bachelor's degree from CSUEB and a Master of Science degree in law enforcement and public safety leadership from the University of San Diego.
Liu is married to Lesa, his wife of 16 years, and has two children and one granddaughter. He is best known for "leading from the heart," the city statement said. He is passionate about the East Palo Alto community, which he refers to as his "family."