SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Sixty-six San Jose police officers were ordered to turn in their guns and badges on Thursday as the city moves forward with layoffs during a year when the murder rate has spiked dramatically.

Thursday was also the final day for 25 officers who accepted early retirement under pressure from the city for cuts that would close a $115 million deficit.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

And police were not optimistic any of the laid off officers would be re-hired soon.

“If you’re looking for stability right now in San Jose, there really isn’t any because of what is being projected for next year,” said Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a spokesman for the San Jose Police Department.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Hundreds more layoffs were avoided because of concessions by the San Jose Police Officers Association back in April, including a ten percent wage cut.

Union president George Beattie complained in a San Jose Mercury News editorial that 43 of the layoffs could have been averted with a federal grant. City officials said that funding included costly conditions San Jose could not afford.

Beattie said it was the first time in the Police Department’s history that officers were laid off.

“I felt like I was at a funeral reception,” Beattie said. “It was really gut-wrenching.”

Mayor Chuck Reed expressed remorse about the layoffs, but said they are necessary because the city is not able to afford the officers.

“Even though the police budget went up a small amount, police officer retirement costs jumped by $25 million so we had to shrink the department.”

But the reductions will not be without consequences, Beattie said. A police force of 1,106 is now managing a city of nearly 1 million people, he said. The result of that will be slower response times, especially to property crimes.

He said city officials could have made better decisions to avoid some of the layoffs.

“We’re very disappointed that this took place today. Moving forward, whatever harm comes, now they own it. We did what we could do.”

Investigators have attributed nearly half of the 28 murders so far this year to gang violence, prompting the police chief to re-focus the Metro patrol unit exclusively on gangs.

San Jose saw just 20 homicides in all of 2010.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. James Greybush says:


  2. As businesses, universities, states, counties, cities worldwide stumble through the recession some find themselves in a phase of creative disassembly. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are shed. World class University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) and his $7 million outside consultants are firing employees via his “Operational Excellence (OE)”: 2,000 axed by end 2011. Yet many cling to an old assumption: the implied, unwritten management-employee contract.

    Management promised work, upward progress for employees fitting in, employees accepted lower wages, performing in prescribed ways, sticking around. Longevity was good employer-employee relations; turnover a dysfunction. None of these assumptions apply in the 21 century economy. Businesses, universities, public institutions can no longer guarantee careers, even if they want to. Managements paralyzed themselves with a strategy of “success brings successes” rather than “successes brings failure’ and are now forced to break implied contract with employees – a contract nurtured by management that future can be controlled.

    Jettisoned employees are discovering that hard won knowledge earned while loyal is no longer desired in employment markets. What contract can employers, employees make with each other?

    The central idea is simple, powerful: job is a shared partnership.
    • Employers, employees face financial conditions together; longevity of partnership depends on how well customers, constituencies needs are met.
    • Neither management nor employee has future obligation to the other.
    • Organizations train people.
    • Employees create security they really need – skills, knowledge that creates employability in 21st century economies
    • The management-employee loyalty partnership can be dissolved without either party considering the other a traitor.

    Sustained employability in the 21st century economy is not loyalty to management, company, university, public agency or union.

  3. Independence says:

    Keep the lay off coming San Jose, and we still have no wrights to protect are self’s, properties and are family’s. There slowing taking are guns and rights and giving all to the criminals. If San Jose cuts all the entailment programs and cuts of all programs for the Illegals people here in there safe haven city they can save all the teachers, fire and cops for being lay off, Now not the time to give ti all away. We can’t keep giving this state away.

  4. Tim says:

    time for new mayor.

    1. John Cheng says:

      I am with you 101%

  5. This is the tip of the iceberg.
    The prescription from the global central bank is shrinking government budgets to reduce debt. Tough pill when it means losing more than five dozen police

  6. and the Gangsters of Wall Street collect their bonuses and Obama smiles upon them

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