Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

Chief Rojas in the Fiestas Patrias Parade

The Santa Ana Police Department has for decades leased cars for use by detectives for undercover assignments like the gang detail, narcotics and vice.

The detective staff relies on the use of the lease vehicles for their own safety and as necessary tools to be able to conduct investigations. This is the norm in almost every major department and state and federal police agency across the country that uses undercover police cars.



SAPD Police Chief Carlos Rojas’ detectives are really upset because Chief Rojas has taken the leased vehicles away from the undercover assignments and assigned them to his handpicked top staff – the Commanders and two Deputy Chiefs. This group is represented by the police management association. A labor group just like the Santa Ana Police Officers Association only it represents just the Commanders and Deputy Chiefs.

By the way, Rojas recently promoted one of the Management Association leaders and he is reportedly getting ready to promote another one next month. Just a coincidence?  We don’t think so!

Rojas cannot promote all of the Management Association members since there are only so many spots, but the inside word from those close to Rojas’ top staff is that he is trying to buy the loyalty of the Commanders and Deputy Chiefs by doling out SUV’s and other specialty undercover detective vehicles for their own personal use – at city expense. This was clearly not the intent of these vehicles!

SAPD Party Hummer

Of course one has to wonder if this is simply pay back to the same Police Management Association union leaders that supported Rojas and lobbied the city council for him to be their next Chief. Ever wonder why the testing process for police chief was never advertised to other chiefs of police in the state, let alone the country, and why there was no media coverage of any possible candidates? There were no other candidates!  It was all a ruse.

In fact the City Manager had to extend the closing date for applicants because no one applied for the job. You would think a national executive recruitment firm would be involved to get the best possible leader for this department, but not here in Santa Ana – the fix was in by the City Manager, who at the time was an overpaid temp charged with doing whatever the City Council majority told him to do.

What happened to Rojas’ ethics, did he forget he took an oath of office? His job is to give the support the men and women in his department and provide them with the tools they need to protect our city from the criminals. Those doing the job of risking their lives while arresting gangsters, drug dealers and violent offenders and who need specialized police equipment are being shortchanged by Rojas as he panders to his the command staff.

The commanders and top staff don’t work undercover assignment and they certainly don’t arrest violent gangsters, narcotic dealers and sex offenders. In fact if you check out some neighborhoods in Santa Ana you will find the gang activity, narcotics sales and prostitution problems are the most visible and most blatant they have been in over 20 years!

SAPD is hiring

It is no wonder that highly experienced detectives and officers are retiring as soon as they can or are fleeing in huge numbers from the SAPD.  This is why the SAPD is running a full court press as they desperately try to hire new officers.  They have been running the ad above on Facebook and I ran into their recruiters this weekend at the Tustin Tiller Days carnival.

You have to wonder if Rojas’s days as Chief of the SAPD are numbered?  Even his strongest supporters are wondering what has happened to him. Is he crazy with power or is he just over his head and doesn’t know what to do?  More and more of the men and women in the SAPD now want to get rid of an inexperienced Police Chief who seemingly only cares about himself and nothing else.  In fact at the Mayor’s recent breakfast reception all the local neighborhood leaders wanted to talk about was how do we get Chief Walters to come back? You have to wonder if he would even consider coming back to this mess – and our truly awful City Council.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

9 thoughts on “Are real police detectives getting punked by SAPD Police Chief Rojas?”
  1. No surprise…. It’s been going on for a while, Main Street car washing is detailing the command staff vehicles at least once a week (100 dollars on average for each detail). A friend at the car wash states he has to remove food/milk stains from the rear seats of the vehicles often, guess the command staff kids/family are ruining the interior to these vehicles … Weekend road trips perhaps on tax payer dime???

  2. Chief Walters coming back???? LMAO! What? At age 90??? No one cares about cars getting detailed.

    Hey Art…..why don’t you ask your 31 RAT who’s still in love with PW to talk about his side kick Hank? Ask him how he used several seized vehicles as his personal vehicles!

    Hey 31 Rata; you have no honor. Your a coward. Just like your brother.

    1. This post has already garnered hundreds of views so apparently folks do care about what is going on at the SAPD.

      Walters is not coming back but if this mess keeps up the City Council needs to do a real national search and find a better Police Chief – preferably one that has actually done the job before and done it well.

      I am still open to contracting with the OC Sheriff for police services as that will save our city a lot of money.

    2. Hey anonymous,

      Which member of the “Lollipop Guild” are you? Is that you Carlos?

      You are obviously affiliated with the SAPD given your use of the insider jargon referring to 31. You people are the rats my friend. It’s you and those that like you that are destroying the department.

      Carlos and his minions are a cancer on the department. You are slowly killing the great department that Chief Walters built.

  3. You might want to validate the information before you put it out.
    1. The Gang unit has never leased cars for undercover details, ever.
    2. The car wash price is listed at just under $12.00.
    3. Experienced Officers and Detectives are leaving because they have maxed out on retirement or an opportunity has allowed them to work for the County while they wait to.turn 50.
    4. The Department is running a full court press because money has finally become available to hire more officers. It sounds like SAPD reallocated resources to get more new officers hired quicker. Smart move.
    5.As for the Detective cars being undercover cars, really? Everybody in the city knows those are SAPD officers. Who in the world drives Impalas.
    6. Change is difficult for those entrenched in the “good ol days “.

    1. Change isn’t always a good thing. My sources are SAPD officers. I trust them and it’s obvious that Rojas and his goons aren’t happy that the truth is getting out.

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