SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — Retired Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante has been named Janus of Santa Cruz’s new chief executive officer.
Escalante replaces outgoing CEO, Rod Libbey, who recently retired after a seven-year tenure at Janus. Local attorney and current Janus board member, Edison Jensen, will replace Escalante as chair of the Janus of Santa Cruz Board of Directors.
Escalante will take on the Janus CEO position effective Oct. 2.
Janus of Santa Cruz has been providing substance use disorder treatment services across the county for more than 40 years.
“I am blessed to have the opportunity of working with amazing people who are committed to providing a high level of compassionate treatment services to those suffering from the disease of addiction,” he said. “The opioid crisis and community issues that arise as a result of addiction are a priority for our community. Janus will continue to strengthen our partnerships with local and state resources so we can carry on our mission of offering effective treatment services.”
Escalante earned his master’s degree in public administration from San José State University. He was a member of the Santa Cruz County Criminal Justice Council and has volunteered for 20 years as a member of the Janus Board of Directors, serving for the last eight years as its chair.
Prior to joining the Capitola Police Department in 2012, Escalante served as deputy chief for the Watsonville Police Department.
“Rudy will provide focused and critical leadership to Janus’ continuing role in dealing with the opioid crisis and its effects on our community,” Jensen said.
Jensen earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz and his juris doctor from the Santa Clara University School of Law. He is a past chairman of Dominican Hospital, Salud Para La Gente and the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust.