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San Jose Unveils New Plan To Strengthen Police Force

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San Jose Police at the scene of a fatal stabbing. (CBS)

A San Jose police patrol car. (CBS)

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose city leaders are hoping a new plan will help revamp the struggling police department.

The officer restoration strategy calls for a major increase in police staffing, which has seen drastic cuts over the last two years. Staffing three years ago was at 1,400 officers – now, the force employs less than a thousand officers.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo have now formulated a plan to add hundreds of additional officers over the next four years.

“1,250 would be the rough number. That would be about 200 more officers than we have today,” Reed said. “That’s an increase in current staffing and it’s an increase in authorized staffing. It gets us back to approximately where we were in January of 2011, which is the council’s adopted goal for restoring services.”

Liccardo said increasing police staffing is a top priority.

“We have always been thinly staffed in the city of San Jose – in police, fire and all of our services,” he said. “But clearly, in the last couple of years, we’ve lost several hundred officers and we’ve got a lot of work to do to build back this force.”

The plan also calls for competitive pay, to keep officers from leaving the department.

The police union said criticized the proposal, saying this latest plan is full of empty promises.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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