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San Jose Mayor Pushes For Concessions With Cuts That Union Calls Alarming

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A San Jose Police patrol car. (CBS)

A San Jose Police patrol car. (CBS)

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A proposal to lay off perhaps hundreds of San Jose police officers because of a budget shortfall is irresponsible and reckless, said officials with the police union.

The mayor has asked all the city’s public employee unions to cut at least 10 percent again this year because of a $110 million deficit.

The San Jose Police Officers Association, now negotiating a new contract with the city, raised the alarm Wednesday over a plan that could leave as many as 350 police officers out of work.

“A smaller department would surely delight the gangs and the criminals in this city as police response time will slow to a crawl,” said president George Beattie, reading from a prepared statement outside the Southside Police Substation.

That $92 million facility has never been used. The city mothballed it as soon as construction was done because of budget problems.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

The cut would leave the city with 900 officers, a staffing level not seen since 1984, Beattie said.

Reed said he would like to hire more police, but the growth in the department’s budget will not allow him to expand the force.

“The budget has grown by $108 million in the last 10 years, and we have less officers than we had 10 years ago,” Reed said.

Concessions on sick leave payout, vacation buyback and overtime could avoid the layoffs now on the table, he said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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