EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Peter Pacillas has been chosen as El Paso’s permanent chief of police, the interim City Manager Cary Westin announced on Monday, Oct. 2, during a press conference.

According to a bio provided by the City, Pacillas has served the El Paso Police Department since 1985. Most recently, he served as the interim police chief and was assistant chief from 2009 to 2023.

Westin provided a statement at the press conference on Monday, stating that Peter Pacillas is a “dedicated law enforcement officer with an exceptional track record, a deep understanding of our community and a commitment to our City’s safety. Chief Pacillas has all the qualities needed to lead the El Paso Police Department,” Westin said.

“Born and raised right here in El Paso, he has lived and breathed the values and culture of our City his entire life. I’m confident Chief Pacillas will continue to demonstrate thoughtful and effective decision-making as well as strong leadership in action. He is a remarkable example of our home-grown, gifted leaders who make a positive difference in our community each and every day,” Westin said.

Westin also added that Pacillas has proven himself in key assignments over his career serving as a member of the Central Patrol Station, Tactical Division, Northeast Substation, Pebble Hills Regional Command, Training Academy, Support Services Division, Directed Investigation Division, Bomb Squad, and SWAT Team. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Mountain State University.

“Throughout Chief Pacillas’ career, he has consistently exhibited leadership, integrity, and a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges facing our border community,” said Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino.

“He has a proven track record of fostering strong relationships between law enforcement officers and the community, and prioritizing officer training and well-being. He has a clear vision for enhancing public safety while ensuring that the rights and dignity of all residents are protected,” D’Agostino added.

The City says the selection of Pacillas was made after a “comprehensive and competitive search process” that included input from community stakeholders, city officials, and members from various law enforcement agencies.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as the next police chief of El Paso,” said Pacillas. “I am committed to working closely with our officers, community partners, and residents to create a safer and more inclusive city for everyone. Together, we will continue to build trust, transparency, and accountability within our police department.

The other three finalists were: Steve Dye, former police chief for Grand Prairie, Texas; David Ransom, former El Paso police officer who now serves as police chief for the Berklee College of Music in Boston; and Victor Zarur, veteran of El Paso Police Department since 1995 and currently serves as executive assistant chief (interim) for operations – Office of Performance and Development.

For more information on the El Paso Police Department, click here: Police Department (elpasotexas.gov).