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.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. M Mooney says:

    IBM Study? Really! Just wait until an earthquake, terrorist attack, etc. San Jose is already in the danger zone.They are already understaffed and half the officers can’t afford to even live with 45 minutes. They won’t be able to respond when a major event happens. Remember after 9/11 when those police and fireman ran into those burning, collapsing buildings and everyone thought they were heros and valued them. What a short memory America has. How many people are willing to get up everyday to face parolees, sex offenders and violence, disturbed people, domestic chaos, death, child neglect and know that it may be their last day every day. Not me.They deserve our respect, support and commendation. Who are you going to call when someone is breaking into your house or threatening your children? In San Jose there won’t be anyone left to help if Chuck Reed gets his way.

    1. M C. says:

      Just remember when you call 911 its the men and women who are risking their lives responding to your location! Not IBM or Chuck Reed!! Lets Keep San Jose in the TOP 5 when it comes to being the safest city in the Nation!!!

  2. A.N. says:

    Nicely said. Thank you!

  3. M C. says:

    More with less Police and Fire? This coming from a IBM consultant willing to do the 3 hr study for free!!! Oh by the way to do this the City of San Jose need to buy a program FROM IBM for millions of dollars. How convenient!! I sure the study could of been done by anyone under the age of 12 and still come up with better result. What the citizens of San Jose don’t realize is IBM and Chuck Reed are more than HAPPY/Willing to take RISKS on the citizens lives. Of course there are people who out of sheer ignorance will agree with IBM/Chuck Reed Until they or their loved ones are affected at which point they will again blame Police and the Firefighters not responding fasts enough to THEIR needs.
    Here is some FREE consultation for IBM, get rid of 3/4 of your workforce and try to do what your doing now. Ill only charge you half of the cost of the lame program your trying to sell to the city.

  4. Ralph says:

    Absolutely lunatic suggestion!
    Since when has IBM been an authority or source of knowledge on policing and fire fighting?
    Why would anyone ask them to conduct a study, or accept one if they offered it, since one would be wasting one’s own time on such a fatuous exercise.

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