SAN JOSE (KCBS)— Top public safety officials in San Jose are blasting a city-commissioned IBM study that suggests the police and fire departments can do more with less.
The controversial report requested by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed will be discussed at next week’s City Council meeting.
Fire chief Willy McDonald said on any given day there are only 160 firefighters on duty for a city of a million people. According to the report, his department could do with a third fewer firefighters.
KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:
“The number of firefighters we have on duty today to me is at the lowest it could possibly be,” McDonald said.
He said he hopes to see efforts to increase the number of firefighters so that the community can be provided with the services they desire.
The report also found that the city could save up to $60 million by cutting about 400 police jobs.
Police Chief Chris Moore found that suggestion ludicrous.
“There are times that we need capacity. In big cities there are events that occur where you’re going to need a couple hundred officers. All you have to do is look at what’s happening in Oakland,” he said.
Mayor Chuck Reed retorted that the study provided valuable data and that the current fire department response level is outmoded.
“You don’t need four firefighters responding to a medical call,” he said adding, “I don’t think it’s an argument for shrinking our police and fire departments.”
He said it is an argument for doing a better job with the resources the city already has.
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