San Jose Police Staffing Levels Called Into Question

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A recent rash of homicides has many concerned residents in San Jose questioning cutbacks within the police department.

17 of the 39 homicides this year have been gang-related. And with 300 fewer officers than four years ago, San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore said resources are being stretched thin.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“We’re at rock bottom. We’re at 1,100 (officers) and that’s as low as I would ever want to see us go,” Moore said. “We should probably have closer to 2,000, but realistically and financially, that’s not in the cards. I understand that, my council understands that and my mayor understands that.”

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said it’s a myth that police cutbacks have led to more crime in the city.

“If you look at the aggregate crime data, violent crimes are about the same as they were last year. Property crimes are also down,” said Reed. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t need more officers because we do. We need to have more officers to do the things that we want them to do.”

But city officials do know that another expected budget shortfall next year could lead to more layoffs within the police department.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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