Hector Pesqueda, Puerto Rico’s former police chief, resigned yesterday. “They are personal reasons. It would not be appropriate to talk about the reasons for which I’m resigning, but they are valid reasons,” he said.
In 2012, then-Governor Luis Fortuño named Pesqueda as police chief, to lead the second largest US police department with about 17,000 officers. Pesqueda then successfully reduced the crime rate from 1,136 homicides in 2011 to 967 in 2012.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, federal officials assigned a US Marshal for the District of New Jersey, Juan Mattos Jr., to oversee federally-mandated police reforms in Puerto Rico. However, Pesqueda says Mattos’s assignment has nothing to do with his resignation.
Pesqueda will officially step down November 15, and Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said he has yet to select a replacement but will announce a new police chief in the next few days.