SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — People were shocked when they learned last summer that some San Jose cops were forced to live in RVs in an effort to get some shuteye.
Now those cops are being forced to move out because of a familiar roadshow is moving in.
Back in August, KPIX 5 was the first to break the story about a dozen officers who often worked 17-hour shifts, but lived as far away as Tracy and Stockton. Instead of driving home they lived in the RVs during the workweek, parked in a nearby lot.
When the big bright red signs went up in the parking lot warning all the San Jose police officers living in RVs to get out by December 26th or risk getting towed, the president of the Police Officers’ Union said his phone started ringing.
“Things are changing – the circus is coming to town,” said SJPOA president Paul Kelly.
They’re being forced to move because Cirque du Soleil is coming back to San Jose in six weeks, as they have been doing for the past decade. The problem is, the city-owned parking lot the circus always used, has become an RV park for the exhausted and overworked police officers.
Now, the lot is mostly empty now that the RVs have been forced out. At first, it seemed the police RVs would just be kicked to the curb, but a solution is in sight.
“The nice thing is, the Chief’s office and the City recognize we need these cops to get some rest, and get back out on the street,” said Kelly. “And so, most of them have moved to another location on police property.”
KPIX 5 spotted work crews installing lights at the new parking lot. A few RVs were already there. It has a temporary fence around it for now.
It appears the City is committed to the RV solution.
“I wish we didn’t have to do that,” said Kelly. “I’m sure the Chief’s office isn’t thrilled to see a bunch of RVs in the parking lot and police officers sleeping in them, and I’m sure they don’t want to. But they’re committed, I think, to allow them to get some sleep and be safe.”