Plan For Sheriff’s Deputies At San Jose Airport Put On Hold

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The plan to replace San Jose cops at Mineta International with sheriff’s deputies may not fly, at least not for now.

Under a plan approved earlier this year, the sheriff’s department was scheduled to take over airport policing in February, but that’s been put on hold for now.

”We’re still evaluating what’s the most cost effective way to provide security at the airport,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “Of course, we prefer the San Jose Police Department. It’s a great department and does great service, but we have to look at cost, and the costs have been escalating. We also have to consider the sheriff’s proposal to do that. Right now it looks like we can continue with the police department for at least another year.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Reed said that a lot hinges on the outcome of a pension reform measure that will be on the March ballot.

“If pension costs continue to escalate our police department will not be competitive, the sheriff will be much cheaper, and we’ll have to move to the sheriff’s department,” said Reed. “If the voters approve the pension reforms to bring down the cost of pensions, then that will allow our department to continue working at the airport.”

The plan to outsource fire services at the airport was tabled until June 2013, after the city got a $15 million federal grant to hire back laid off firefighters.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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