Longtime assistant named interim police chief in Edinburg

Peter De La Garza

EDINBURG — The interim police chief here stepped down unexpectedly this week, less than a month after his promotion to the role following the demotion of chief David White.

Assistant police chief Peter De La Garza has been promoted to the interim chief position, the city announced in a news release Friday.

The news release, however, made no mention of former interim chief Edgardo “Edgar” Ruiz’s decision to step down, only mentioning that he “will return to his rank as lieutenant.” Ruiz decided to step down Monday, according to multiple sources within the police department.

Ruiz was named interim chief in early November after the city decided to demote White to a lieutenant position. White, who joined the force in 1991, was sworn in as chief in November 2015. When asked why White was demoted, City Manager Juan Guerra declined to disclose the reasons to The Monitor.

De La Garza is the longest serving member of the Edinburg Police Department, having joined in 1978, according to the news release.

“It is my belief to do what is right, what is fair and what is legal,” De La Garza said via the release. “I want it to be known that the department will continue to provide quality service to ensure public safety.”

He was previously named interim chief for a three-month period after Rolando Castañeda, White’s predecessor, retired.

The city is in the process of looking for a permanent chief, though no details about the search have been released.