SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose’s top cop knows that 2014 will be a challenging year for the police department, due to low staffing and high crime rates.

On Wednesday, Chief Larry Esquivel met with concerned business leaders in East San Jose, as he was welcomed by the Story Road Business Association.

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Many members were quick to voice concerns about rising crime, especially burglaries, and not enough police.

Esquivel said he hopes the labor agreement between the police union and the city will help to slow the exodus of officers in San Jose.

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“That’s a positive step in the right direction, but we lost over 100 officers last year,” Esquivel said. “And probably 75 or so that were resignations. We need to stem that.”

Realtor Hilda Ramirez said she wants to return to the days when San Jose was considered “the safest big city in the US.”

“We’re still doing well in comparison to some other communities, but we certainly don’t want to let go of having that wonderful reputation,” she said.

Chief Esquivel is encouraging business owners to partner with police, and also work with their communities, to send a message that criminal activity is not wanted in San Jose.

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