SAN JOSE (KCBS)— The San Jose police staffing shortage isn’t going to be resolved anytime soon according to a new memo from the acting police chief to city leaders. Officers have been leaving in droves since a 10 percent pay cut was instituted in 2012.
Acting San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel warned that it’ll take two years for the force to reach full staffing. He said the full compliment of street-ready cops won’t be reached until the summer of 2015.
Police union board member James Gonzales said the fact is that they don’t have enough officers to keep up with the crime of San Jose.
“This memo from the chief directly contradicts the rosy outlook the mayor has been painting of public safety in San Jose,” he said.
Mayor Chuck Reed defended the pay cuts and said it was necessary to avoid an even more serious situation.
“The alternative was to cut the force even more and to lay off more officers. I think the decision was correct that we should make everyone take a 10 percent pay cut, because if we hadn’t done that we’d have an even smaller force than we have today,” he said.
Reed did agree that there’s no question that getting the police staffing up to its full capacity is going to take a while.
Resignations have gone from less than one a month to more than six according to the chief’s memo. Meanwhile, the police department is running two academies a year in order to catch up.
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