San Jose police captain accepts Watsonville chief position

A San Jose police captain with about 25 years of law enforcement experience will be taking over as chief of the Watsonville Police Department.

Capt. David Honda accepted an offer to be the city’s new police chief, Watsonville City Manager Charles Montoya said.

Montoya formally made the announcement during a news conference Tuesday evening at Watsonville’s Civic Plaza building.

Honda stood out from the pool of applicants for his strong technical background and ability to make a commanding presence, Montoya said.

Honda is “excited and ecstatic” to become the top cop in Watsonville, Montoya said.

The city manager said it was clear and evident that Honda was the right person for the job during their conversations and he had the right qualifications.

The captain most recently served in San Jose’s patrol division but has also worked on the gang prevention task force, narcotics enforcement team and intervention programs, Montoya said.

Honda obtained his bachelor’s degree in quality assurance from San Jose State University in 1993 and a master’s degree in arts and leadership from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga in 2013.

Honda will succeed Manny Solano, who retired in December after serving for 30 years in law enforcement, police said.

David McCartney has been serving as interim chief in Watsonville since Solano’s departure and has worked with the department for more than 20 years.