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Proposals Aim To Recoup Training Costs For Departing San Jose Rookie Officers

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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) – Two proposals are in the works that could force new San Jose police officers to repay some of their training costs if they bolt for another job.

The police department has struggled to retain officers amid cuts in pay and pension benefits. In fact, many of the officers in the latest police academy graduating class are already exploring employment with other law enforcement agencies.

So now, at least three San Jose City Council members said they don’t want their city to train officers that end up working somewhere else.

San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo said his proposal would create a nonprofit that would issue zero interest loans for training, which would then vanish over time if an officer stays with the department.

“It’s something that enables us to do something that is both legal and effective, and insuring that San Jose taxpayers are not footing the bill for footloose officers, who would rather serve in another city,” Liccardo said.

The other proposal, co-authored by Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and Councilman Johnny Khamis, is similar in nature, with a goal of recovering taxpayer dollars.

But San Jose Police Officers’ Association President Jim Unland said the council members are missing the point and the real problem is a pension plan that does not match up with other departments.

“Most people would be surprised, Council Member Liccardo wrote one of those memos, and he actually has a better pension plan than our newest officers,” said Unland.

Liccardo said his proposal will go to the council’s rules committee next week.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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