By Kiet Do

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — At least a dozen officers are living in RV’s in the parking lot right near the San Jose Police Department’s headquarters.

Mandatory overtime forces them to work up to 17-hour days. Combine those long hours with horrendous traffic, and commutes from as far away as Manteca, Stockton, Tracy and even Reno, these officers are staying in an RV during the week and then driving home on their days off.

It turns out the recreational vehicles are legally parked on city property.

“It’s embarrassing for any city,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

It turns out city leaders had no idea this was going on, until we brought it up this morning. They’ve just begun scratching their heads about what to do next, like possibly adding more security, including better fencing.

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It was Measure B pension reform that voters approved back in 2012 that cut officer pay and benefits, and triggered a mass exodus of officers leaving the department.

Mayor Liccardo said the long term solution is for voters to pass Measure F, which would boost officer pay to hire and retain more cops.

“We need to get some support for Measure F so we can restore this police department so we don’t have officers working multiple overtime shifts in the same day in the same week,” Liccardo said.

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Next week, the city will vote to declare a state of emergency to shift 47 detectives back onto regular street patrol.

Councilmember Johnny Khamis opposes the declaration, saying it’s a short term fix, and that all other options have not been exhausted.

Even after seeing pictures of the RV’s, Khamis stood firm.

“We need to offer our officers more money. There are many things we can do. Declaring an emergency isn’t gonna get the police officers out of their mobile homes, it’s actually going to exacerbate the problem,” Khamis said.

Comments (25)
  1. Gereldy N. says:

    I remember when San Jose was one of the safest big cities in America. Rather than try to figure out what will work, how about going back and looking at what did work and repeat it? The wheel was invented long ago.

  2. Morgan D says:

    LOL……San Jose is an absolute embarrassment. How can this city even function with this system?

  3. Didi J Dalton says:

    I am shocked! The City should be ashamed ! As if the job isn’t stressful enough just stick them in RV’s on the property away from family, overworked and underpaid. When will cities get their priorities straight and take care of the people that put themselves in harms way each and everyday to protect you!!!

    1. JB says:

      Overworked yes, under paid no. California has the highest paid officers in the US. Their are cities with higher crime rates who pay their officers nada. Let’s not forget the mandatory OT so they can keep their budgets.

      SJPD-Academy pay is $35.97 an hour, until sworn in as a police officer. Police officer, starting step 1 salary $87,176. Police officer, top step salary $125,504 (one step increase annually for seven years)

      NYPD-Police Officer. Top base pay $78,026; total compensation $88,096 including top base pay, longevity pay, holiday pay and uniform allowance as of 7/31/2012. (Future contracts will be negotiated between NYC and the PBA.) This does not include night differential or overtime.

      Chicago-The current starting salary for a CPD officer is $43,104, which increases to $61,530after a year and $65,016 after 18 months. Benefits include healthcare plans, paid sick leave and vacation days, tuition reimbursement, a pension plan, and—of course—the honor of serving the great city of Chicago.

      New Orleans-The entry-level salary for a newly minted NOPD officer is $36,570. That’s 14 percent below the regional average, according to a recent study by the Civil Service Commission. Officers with an associate degree are entitled to a $1,000 annual bump

      1. Vin says:

        The cities you cited are knee deep in corruption and a high crime rate. You want it, then you got it. You and Reed deserve everything you get.

      2. Steve says:

        Did this Paul Ocean Sam just say people that are being targeted for death because they have chosen to risk their lives for a stranger are being paid too much? How many cops are ambushed just because they are cops? Hey JB, How much do I have to pay you an hour to shoot at your face? How much is too much? Jack ass.

  4. The real problem is all the illegal aliens let in by the sanctuary policy. You wouldn’t need so many cops, if there weren’t so much crime.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Contract out armed / unarmed security to make patrols in the neighborhoods to offer a police like presence.

    The goal isn’t to arrest anyone or give citations but to handle light disputes and present a presence of law enforcement in the community even thought is from a private agency.

  6. The issue is really the pensions. I’m sure many officers would trade more pay now for a lesser, but still good, pension later. 3% at 50 was never sustainable. Hopefully the additional income coming under Measure F will go to existing officers and not be pensionable.

  7. Bob says:

    Not very smart for this news channel to publicly announce this, now these RV’s the cops are sleeping in could potentialy become targets of drive by shootings. But what’s more important, a somewhat news story or a cops life, I know the answer but the media doesn’t !!!!

  8. Miguel says:

    Avg Pay is $130,512, which is a lot more than I make. I am not going to criticize pay positively or negatively. Never going to do that. But the choice is to live in a cheaper area and work in a much higher pay area. These officers are making that choice. The issue isn’t pay. It is housing.

  9. fiftyville says:

    Are there any rank and file San Francisco cops or firemen who can afford to live there?

  10. This isn’t an Police Officer problem per say, this is the cost of living in San Jose Problem. No one can afford an $800 fixer upper home. If the cost of living wasn’t so extreme no one would have to commute 3 hours to San Jose. There isn’t any parking in San Jose because the people who do live there are living 10 people 6 cars to a house, or they have millions to drop on a condo. The only way you can make it in San Jose is A. be rich, or B. live with someone who has owned there home forever. $130k a year is a FANTASTIC salary anywhere in the country but here. How do you think the poor people are making it who take your order in the drive through?

  11. Chip says:

    Forcing officers to work overtime only leaves the city open for a law suit when an officer makes a mistake that can easily be blamed on the lack of rest and sleep that is needed to perform his job.

  12. Robyn says:

    Go out to the Elmwood jail parking lot and you will see motor homes occupied by deputies. It has been that way for years. It is a common practice at the prisons as well. Work four days and go home for three.

  13. Lenny Flank says:

    I think some of us should go knock on their windows at 2am. (big fat evil grin)