Santa Ana City Council Tuesday night swore in Carlos Rojas as the city’s first Latino police chief, a moment leaders hailed as a turning point in the history of one of Orange County’s largest cities. 

City officials lined up to praise Rojas, who joined the department in the 1990s and has been the interim chief for two years.

“I am certain and confident that you will serve this community with dignity, with respect and integrity,” Martinez told Rojas.

“He is a fair, compassionate, balanced person,” said Councilman Vincent Sarmiento,” adding that the fact he’s Latino is “a major step in the right direction for this department.”

Santa Ana, with 78-percent of its residents Latino, has the second-highest rate of Latino residents of any city its size in America.

Law enforcement leaders from across Orange County — including Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and the police chiefs of Anaheim, Irvine, Fullerton and Costa Mesa — packed the Council chambers for the ceremony.

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