SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – The San Jose Police Department has re-established its Street Crimes Unit, and it says it’s getting results. In the past three weeks, officers made 12 felony arrests, 51 misdemeanor arrests, 40 warrant arrests and handed out 49 citations.
The work was done by six officers and a sergeant. The team used to be more than twice that size back in the 1990’s, according to Chief Eddie Garcia.
He tweeted the accomplishments, adding, “This is the fabric of our Department. PROUD!”
“I think it’s great, I just think there’s a lot more they have to do,” said Willow Glen resident Richard Diehl.
Diehl has been a victim of a car burglary and vandalism. In recent months, people in his neighborhood have complained of an uptick in this kind of non-violent crime on social media and at community meetings.
“I think the quality of the police personnel is excellent in San Jose, I think it’s the fault of the administration to have lowered the headcount,” he said.
Today the city has about 1100 officers–roughly the same number it had back in 1986.
“We didn’t get into this mess overnight from the staffing crisis we were in, we’re not going to get out of it overnight,” said Chief Garcia. “But I think what our community expects and wants is, ‘How are we responding to this?'”
The Street Crimes Unit–dedicated to quality of life issues like trespassing and drug use–is just one way, according Garcia.
“Plain and simple, really good police officers would go into certain areas of need and do exactly what they’re trained to do,” explained Garcia.
For some residents, the newest numbers just aren’t enough.
“I’m not impressed – I think cops need to go harder, if they’re really going to try to serve and protect the community, they really need to serve and protect,” said Hoss Delgado.
Garcia said the department is still a long way off from being where it wants to be. He added that officers arrested 18 people responsible for 100 burglaries since September. An example of how it is moving in the right direction.