The Social Contract

In society we have chosen to give up some of our liberty or ability to do anything we want for the the trade off of having more opportunity under law. If we do not like the rules of society than we can move away to a remote mountain and have more freedom, but one would give up certain benefits we have in society based on law.

The social contract is reinforced through friends, family, neighbors and those who interact with us in society.  However, the enforcement is done primarily by our law enforcement personnel and internationally by our military. 

Police are the ones responsible to respond when individuals choose to cause harm to others’ physical well being. Without adequate police, people may choose to break the contract, whether it be by comitting a robbery, an assault or murder. From my viewpoint, police maintain the social contract. No one else carries the authority to do so, and ideally, always in a fair manner, which carries a high level of responsibility. A high level of responsibility needs to be compensated well, in part to avoid temptations.

In comparison to other city departments, the police department is the only one that maintains order so those who are weak do not get picked on and those that are law abiding can go about their way. Would we want to return to the Wild West when gun fights occurred outside the saloon between individuals? Who would want to worry about those things today at Happy Hour?  Police on patrol deter crime by simply being visible. This deterrence, I believe, leads to less incidents that require emergency services since the inhibition of criminal behavior means less use of the 911 system.

Government does have enforcement through regulation, but only law enforcement really enforces the regulation with the possible outcome of incarceration. It is a great power and must always be overseen by civilians who allow autonomy but expect fairness to be carried out.

Sadly, during these years of low revenue and escalating pension costs we must always consider what we can afford. There is a higher cost to being out of control. The social contract extends to our police, as that they must be diligent, be fair, and understand fiscal realities we face, and thus our ability to pay. At the same time, the policy makers must prioritize with the social contract in mind, not to be held hostage but to always put this in the balance with other choices. 

Technology can help with enforcement by using surveillance cameras to ticket red-light runners, capture vandals on video to prosecute property crimes and use video footage for gathering evidence for prosecution of other types of crimes. The ability to maintain a civil society will evolve with technology. If we do not accept technology than we will fall short of our goals since we will never have police covering all places all the time.

In other matters: Tonight at City Hall there will be a showing of the documentary film, Bag It, with a discussion to follow with the Director of Environmental Services. The film presents the impact of plastics in society and their ramifications to our health. To learn more email [email protected]

Congratulations to San Jose Made and San Jose Eats who brought what seemed to be a few thousand people to Downtown on Saturday afternoon for a pop-up retail and food truck event.  The event also had the impact of filling every restaurant in San Pedro Square. A sign posted out front of one restaurant read: Closed-Out of Food.

 

96 Comments

  1. I agree with most of this article. The part I thought was a little bumpy was the “Ability to pay” for police compensation. I may be wrong,but I always thought a government was established to protect its citizens form enemies (both foreign and domestic). It seems like todays government is set up to entertain its citizens (A’s baseball stadium). I dont mind the entertainment part in great econimic times if there is extra money, but I don’t think there is extra money. I see city hall is going to spend 1.5 million out of a 5 million dollar fund to expand a park. So can you see my problem with, “Ability to pay?” I think it’s more, “Don’t wanna pay!!!”

    • DOC,

      Park funds are generated from fees paid by housing developers. Until recently only market rate housing paid these fees and affordable housing developers were exempt.  This was changed under my initiative last year so that affordable housing developers now pay half the fees. I am hopeful someday, the affordable housing developers will pay 100% of the park fees, the same as market rate developers, as well pay the road paving fees and property tax that market housing pays.

      The collection and the spending of these park fees are governed by the Quimby Act.  For example a city is not allowed to take a developers park fees and spend it on libraries or police since the fee was specific to parks and not something else. In addition the park fees must be spent within a certain radius of the development and must be spent within a certain amount of time. If the time elapses the housing developers gets a refund of the fees they paid.

      Hope this answers that question.

      Pierluigi

      • Your answer left me a little confused. Does this mean the funds can ONLY be used for the ball park? Or, a “park” in general. 
        I live near the area proposed for the ball park… I cannot see how it could work without a massive infrastructure re-alignment. My friends and family in the east bay complain about getting to the HP Pavilion as it is. The cost of roads, water, sewage, power, etc. would, I imagine, make the actual stadium build look like chump change.
        I’m not opposed to a ballpark in general, just the proposed location seems untenable, especially in this current economic climate.  I’m still “amused” at the grand prix debacle/disaster.
        Have any other locations been explored? It seems there is more room near Spartan Stadium.
        Besides, there is no MLB team set to move here, and I have not heard of any expansion plans.

  2. “Tonight at City Hall there will be a showing of the documentary film, Bag It, with a discussion to follow with the Director of Environmental Services. The film presents the impact of plastics in society and their ramifications to our health.”

    Tonight on the garage door in my driveway there will be a showing of the South Park episode “Smug Alert”.  The episode presents sanctimonious saviour-of-the-earth environmentalists who like to talk with their eyes closed.  thanks!!!

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/155193/thanks

  3. Mr. Oliverio,

    As a long time north San Jose resident and great supporter of our current city council, I really enjoyed reading this article analyzing the social contract. Within the past 30 years of living in north San Jose, I have only been contacted by the San Jose Police Department 3 times: in two of them, I was the victim of a crime, and the third, I was given a traffic ticket in which I deserved.

    With Mayor Reed’s talk of laying-off 350 police officers, I truly have been speculating as to how our beautiful city will change over the next ten years. It seems as if our city needs to properly analyze issues in relation to the current economic reality and not from a past holistic “make everyone happy” perspective. The choices of subsiding low-income housing or tomorrow’s council meeting decision to spend 2.2 million to expand Del Monte Park… seem far reached, unsustainable, and frankly, irresponsible. As a San Jose resident, I trust my City Council, but I am not sure if I could support these decisions.
    I must admit… I am a frequent customer of Santana Row because its parent company, Federal Reality, offers a safe, clean, and friendly atmosphere. I recently called Santana Row’s security office and inquired as why the San Jose Police Department has such a strong presence there. The security officer informed me that Santana Row privately pays a substantial amount to have their own SJPD officer guard the north-end stores everyday during operating hours. In addition, he stated Santana Row hires three to four more SJPD officers to patrol their restaurants at night. I’m certain this must cost Federal Reality a significant budget appropriation, but this is the reason why I feel safe and enjoy spending my money on goods and services at Santana Row. I think our City Council should look at what makes Santana Row so successful and mimic it. It seems to be one of the few places where residents from other cities flood the streets of San Jose to spend money, which directly promotes San Jose specific sales tax revenue.

    Mr. Oliverio, thank you for taking the time to read my comment. I will remain optimistic that you and your fellow council members will make the right decision to not jeopardize our safety from the criminal element by choosing to spend 2.2 million to expand a local park. Need I mention… the Parks and Recreation staff cannot even maintain their current parks let alone and expansion because we have laid half of them off…

    Thank you. You have my north San Jose community group’s support to keep our city safe!

    Mickey Tyrone
    North San Jose resident

    • Mickey,

      Park funds are generated from fees paid by housing developers. Until recently only market rate housing paid these fees and affordable housing developers were exempt.  This was changed under my initiative last year so that affordable housing developers now pay half the fees. I am hopeful someday, the affordable housing developers will pay 100% of the park fees, the same as market rate developers, as well pay the road paving fees and property tax that market housing pays.

      The collection and the spending of these park fees are governed by the Quimby Act.  For example a city is not allowed to take a developers park fees and spend it on libraries or police since the fee was specific to parks and not something else. In addition the park fees must be spent within a certain radius of the development and must be spent within a certain amount of time. If the time elapses the housing developers gets a refund of the fees they paid.

      Hope this answers that question and Santana Row runs a great destination.  The Yard House restaurant opens next weekend.

      Pierluigi

  4. Unfortunately, your past deeds do not match up with your current words of support for the men and women of the police department. This mayor, and certain members of the city council, will have the legacy of the dismantling and destruction of this once great police department, one that was considered at one time not just a national, but international model, for other police departments. The tidal wave of talent that is now leaving this police department has not yet begun to hit shore yet.

  5. PLO –

    Does the showing of a slanted documentary on City property help the City deal with the myriad financial issues confronting San Jose?

    • Sierra Spartan,

      You would have enjoyed this documentary I presented with the Concord Coalition at City Hall in 2009 which highlights our National Debt and the inability of the Federal government to make tough decisions:

      http://www.iousathemovie.com/

      It seems at all levels, elected officials have a hard time making budget decisions and trade-offs since the goal is please everyone.

      You should consider attending tonight. It is nice to get away from the computer.

      Pierluigi

  6. Well said Pierluigi!
    That was a very well articulated description of the role that police play in society. It further reassures me that there’s at least one councilmember who has a solid and balanced grasp of the reality of the compromises we must accept as we endeavor to form the framework of an ideal society.

    I don’t think there’s many among us who believe that law enforcement is not a legitimate function of local government. The only real disagreement any of us have is on the pricetag.

    • I agree, police in important and needed especially during a time when society is more violent than in the past, but you will pay for it at the going and competitive price no matter what the economy is!  By the way John, I am not a city employee. I am a life long San Jose citizen who is a huge public safety supporter. Yes, they get paid with good benifits as well deserved!

    • JG. While there may be disagreement within the confines of the city limits, there seems to be very little elsewhere. Simple internet searches will inform you that, throughout the bay area, wages, benefits and pensions are fairly uniform with San Jose falling toward the low to average end of the spectrum in those three categories. While base pay is fairly uniform, where San Jose falls consipicuously short is that it does not offer a true 3% at 50 program which would offer the 90% retirement that has been much maligned here and elsewhere. San Jose also falls short in terms of the employee-paid contributions required to reap this benefit; officers at other agencies contribute anywhere from 9% of their gross pay to nothing (with the employer taking up the employee’s contribution).

      JG, while I truly believe that you are, at heart, a capitalist, as I am, I also think that you have fallen victim to some of the fallacious thought which pervades city hall. Many people seem to subscribe to the notion that the police department is only worth what the citizens are willing to pay. In a free market system wherein there is an abundance of supply (candidates able to get through the hiring proceess and who have limited alternatives for employement elsewhere) this might be true. However, there is not an abundance of supply. The reality is that there is an increasinngly limited supply of candidates and, as the politics and policies of what is going on in San Jose becomes more widespread knowledge, more and more agencies all along the west coast are actively recruiting out of San Jose: Palo Alto, Santa Clara, the SCCSO, BART, Portland, Vancouver, and others.

      Every officer who laterals to another agency is a net loss to the city of about $129k in training costs alone. This loss is doubled because eventually, that loss will have to be made good when San Jose starts actively recruiting, hiring and training to account for attrition. Considering the circumstances under which the vast majority of officers have left it is a near-certainty that none will return to San Jose, which means that San Jose will be on the hook for training a raw recruit all over again at some point in the not-terribly-distant future. Unfortunately, what has gone on in San Jose is widely publicized and I believe that knowledge of how San Jose has treated its employees will make hiring for public safety particularly problematic. Certainly, I don’t know of any active-duty public safety employees who would actively assist in the recruiting process – a reality certainly not true just a few years ago.

      The bottom line is that, in a free market system, where the commodity in question (in this case, viable public safety employee candidates or laterals) are in short supply (as they most certainly are) the worth of those employees is defined not by what the consumer is willing to pay, but by what the consumers’ competitors are willing to pay.

      Any attempt to assert otherwise – that public safety employees are worth what the consumer says we are without respect to market conditions is socialism masquerading, in this case, as being ‘fiscally conservative’.

      Examined in this light, the goings-on at City Hall are entirely consistent with all of the other misdeeds at city hall – all the social programs, the funding of non-core services, low-income housing programs, rampant and irresponsible housing construction, zoning conversions and the toxic business environment to name just a few.

      So long as this conditions exist, San Jose will remain in its state of perpetual deficit. And, unfortunately, too few people in City Hall have the intestinal fortitude to draw that line in the sand which says, “We will fund core services and no more. We will grow our population at a rate that is commensurate with our ability to provides services in a manner which closely approximates that of national averages.”

      • Officer D,
        There’s a fundamental difference between the real job competition that we have in the private sector and the artificially constructed “competition” that exists among those in public service.
        In private industry a company that doesn’t control it’s costs- and that includes paying it’s employees more than it needs to- will, if it’s in a competetive market, not make a profit, will go out of business and cease to exist. Those employees who had been enjoying good pay and benefits discover the hard way that in the REAL world working for an unprofitable company is a nice ride while it lasts but it is inevitably a temporary affair.
        Employees of local governments do not work in such an environment. Each of them enjoys the luxury of working for an outfit that is the only game in town. There IS no competition. The City of San Jose is a monopoly- an entity that the citizens have designated as “too important to fail”. Same goes for every other City or District or County that you claim you could ‘lateral’ to. No matter how badly our City is managed- how irresponsibly it spends our money- how much it chooses to pay employees, it’s NOT going to go away like a private sector company would if run as sloppily.
        We used to understand this fundamental difference between the public and private sector and we elected to public office people who understood it. But that’s changed, not just in San Jose, but across the country. There’s been an explosion in government that is threatening to overwhelm the economy. Our current politicians don’t have good judgment regarding where to draw the line limiting the legitimate role of government. You see THAT part of it, Officer D. What you don’t see- because you’re too close to it- is that the bad judgment that convinces a politician that it’s OK to spend a billion dollars on a brand new City Hall that we don’t need, is the same bad judgment that convinces that same politician to give employees 90% pensions from the age of 50. You have profited from the very incompetence and mismanagement of which you complain. 
        Public service used to be treated differently precisely because we don’t want to be in a position in which we’re forced to design and run our cities as competetive businesses with the pressure to perpetually increase revenues. Cities should be able to develop their own individual character, some of them bustling hotbeds of industry, others clean, comfortable middle class communities, self sustaining and living within their means.

        • JG, you misapprehend my point. There is, indeed, competition. San Jose is NOT the only game in town. Because you are looking solely within the confines of the City limits, you see a monopoly where none exists. Although San Jose has an effective monopoly on the provision of the service of public safety, it does not have a monopoly on the workforce itself. San Jose does compete with other agencies throughout the bay area and is losing officers weekly to those other agencies. In fact, it is losing officers to other agencies nationally. If Vancouver Washington or agencies in Texas (to which former SJPD Officer Kopp lateraled) can come to San Jose and recruit away officers to work for an agency which offers lower base pay but where the cost of living is substantially lower this calls into question the notion that there is an effective monopoly in the Bay Area. Using your logic, we would have to assume that a the public safety monopoly exists on a national level.

          Alternatively, I do agree with you with respect that the explosion in government has much to do with the current state of affairs. I could list expenditure after expenditure made by the city, decided upon by the current city council, which is absolutely not the business of City Hall and which do not fall under the umbrella of the core services established in the city charter.

          Rather than attacking the pay and benefits of public safety, the more prudent course of action would be to identify those city services and departments which do not fall under the umbrella of charter services and eliminate them. This would free up obscene quantities of money, get San Jose entirely out of the housing subsidy industry, end all the debate about the baseball stadium, and create a more streamlined, functional city government. Couple that with all the other reform suggestions posed by other officers and our advocates here and elsewhere, and you’ve got some real, workable solutions.

        • You have to work 30 years to get the 90%. So how can you retire at age 50 and get 90% when the city dosn’t hire below age 21 and the average hiring age is 26. Do the math dummy!

        • Bugsy, PLO or someone else:

          How many employees (percentage) actually retire at 90%.  If the average is 26 years of age then the retirement is probably closer to 75%-85%, am I correct?  Is this more in line to private employees?  Or is still high?

        • JG, I had one other thougth I wanted to share with you. I agree with you that “Cities should be able to develop their own individual character, some of them bustling hotbeds of industry, others clean, comfortable middle class communities, self sustaining and living within their means”. However, citizens need to understand that their decisions greatly affect the provision of services. The sad fact is that San Jose is a glorified bedroom community. Unfortunately, it is precisely the juxtaposition of these two qualities which is complicit in the demise of San Joses fiscal health. Far too many people bleat like sheep at the notion that San Jose should have a healthy well-developed commercial tax base. And, while I am no advocate of the billion dollar upgrade to the airport, I also recognize that there’s a whole nutty and astonishingly vocal minority which is rabidly against an enterprise which, with the proper rules and administration, could flourish. The anti-airport crowd is precisely the same people who advocate the rules which are forcing it into failure.

          At some point, the citizens of San Jose will need to make a decision: do they want to a bedroom community with a small-town public safety force? Are they going to demand big city size public safety at the expense of quality? Or, are they going to demand that City Hall offer competitive wage and benefit packages, be competitive with the rest of the Bay Area’s public safety services and continue to attract the best candidates for those positions at the expense of all the entitlement programs, extraneous spending, and irresponsible residential construction in which City Hall compulsively indulges.

          In the end, the public safety force that San Jose gets will be a direct consequence of the decisions made by city hall and by San Jose’s citizens.

        • Just anon 4 now-

          SJPD has a hybrid 90% retirement formula that the city and Police agreed to some years back. The formula gives 2.5% per service year up to 20 uninterrupted years of city service. Then it is back loaded at 4% per year of city service years 21 through 30. The average age of hire is 26. The average age of retirement is around 50-52. So I will let you do the math.

          The SJFD was asked by the city to agree to this same formula. They declined and took it to arbitration arguing the industry standard was a true “3 at 50”, meaning that you got 3% for every year of service.

          The arbiter agreed and awarded the retirement to Fire personnel. The reason police took our hybrid, was an effort to retain officers past age 50 and well into a full 30 years of service. Something the mayor was desperately trying to do. The more officers he can retain, the less he has to hire. the more money he has right now to spend.

          When I got hired, my retirement was an even 75%. Each contract we negotiated for better benefits in the long term. Often giving up pay raises or increasing our contribution to help offset the more generous retirement. When Governor Davis gave all state employees a true 3 at 50 which is what PERS was offering, then that set the industry standard. San Jose was losing officers to DOJ and surrounding cities to the lucrative PERS system.

          I can say with pride, I am grateful for my job and the men/women I work with. I believe I earn every penny of my paycheck. I also do not have any shame for choosing a profession that had a pension system. I chose my future monetary security over the money in hand right now.

          Last year the police department has a total of 6 that retired with 30 years SJPD service. The rest were far short of that. Most around the 20-25 year mark and a mixture that had years of service with other agencies to make up 30+ years.

          Out of those 6, well, I guessing you can figure out who that was. Yup. Brass. Pencil pushers and second guessers. The line officers and first level supervisors often do not last 30 years. The fact is, this job kicks the ever loving crap out of your body and mind. Hope that answers your question.

          Oh and BTW, you MUST have the following to even qualify for a SJ city pension in the PD:
          1. 10 years uninterrupted service in order to VEST.
          2. A minimum 20 years uninterrupted service to qualify for retiree medical.
          3. 1200 hours of saved SICK time to qualify for medical at retirement. (900 of it the city takes back as payment for the lowest paid medical) cool huh?
          4. 20 years of service and you must be at least 55 years old or 25 years of service and 50 years old to even collect a retirement check.

          And all through the years you get to pay 22% of your gross salary to retirement for the privilege to retire when the city says you qualify.

          The big payouts you see are guys who do not get retiree medical and take all their sick time, all their vacation, all their compensatory time and go on to other jobs. Those are the chief officers.

  7. I came to SJPD as a new recruit about 4 years ago.  I came because San Jose was the best and had the brightest, and I knew I belonged there.  SJPD had all the units, the opportunities, the assignments, the stability, the pay (so I thought).  I knew from the time I was in college, SJPD was where I wanted to work.  When it came time to apply, SJPD was the only place I tried.  I was hired and began one of the biggest challenges of my life.  The academy was grueling, and filled with P.T. and study time.  I made it through at the top of my class.  I went on to work patrol, and made a name for myself, as an officer of integrity and pride, one that made good arrests and investigations.  I aspired to be the best that I could and get into some of the most demanding units, where I could polish my skills.  I continued to work and to stay out of trouble.  I was content and happy with where I was working.

    About 4 months ago Mayor Reed came into our briefing.  He told us cops, that we were on the gravy train and he was willing to lay 200 of us off because we were overpaid.  The Mayor said, “give me 10% and you won’t get laid off.”  A month or so later the mayor changed his tune.  He said give me 10% and I’ll only lay off 250 of you guys.  My heart sank, all the work id done, all the years I spent making this agency proud, keeping this city safe.  I had arrested murders, child molesters, I had been kicked, punched, and spit on (twice).  I’ve seen the dead, the dying, and things no man or woman should see.  I’ve seen mothers holding their dead children, crying for God to bring them back.  I had risked my life day in and day out……….For what?  I wake up every morning and put on a bullet proof vest, and kiss my wife and kids goodbye (maybe for the last time).  Why do I do this?  Do I do it for the measly $1800 dollars bi-weakly?  Do I do it because I like missing my kid’s birthday party, or christmas morning?  No, I do it because it is my calling, my profession, My Duty.

    And now everything has changed.  No matter how good I do, or what rapist or murder I arrest it really doesn’t matter in regards to keeping my job.  I am at the mercy of the all mighty mayor Chuck Reed and his all knowing budget.  There are no more units to go to, no more job security, the pay is not enough to live on.  I am finished, I will work somewhere else, somewhere my calling and profession, are wanted, somewhere I have security, and make enough to pay the bills.  May God protect this city and the innocent victims that fall victim to the evil men and women that prey on them.

    • Dear cop,

      I understand your frustration – but what I don’t see is your alternative suggestion.

      The city budget is driven by the expense of employees. How do you control the budget without reducing pay or people – or both?

      Every post here on SJI whines about the problems and attacks the myor and councilmembers, but no real solutions.

      Bitch about building a park – but if the city doesn’t build it they cannot spend the money on police anyway.

      Bitch about a baseball stadium – but again legally the money can’t be spent on police.

      As a cop you know the authority of laws. Do you expect the council too break laws t pay you?

      Please offer alternative solutions.

      You say that you are finished and will go elsewhere…. but where? Almost every government in the state is broke and facing severe budget issues. This is the great recession – the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression. No agency can afford to hire significant numbers of new officers. And if they do, chances are their new retirements will pale to the very generous one offered by San Jose since everyone is looking at new second tier pension beneifts.

      I live in SJ and have always supported the police AND Mayor Reed and Councilmen Oliverio, Licardo & Constant. They get it. They want to stabilize the system so that the city can pay retirees their retirement when they need it in a couple of decades.

      You’re a cop. You’re trained to look at the evidence. Please do so. Look at the huge and growing budget deficit and pension crisis. Before you blame this council for the budget mess, look at the fact that over half of last years and this years deficits are made up of increased pension contributions. We are paying for poor decisions made years ago. And its not just from the stock market losses.

      Do your home work. Look at the evidence. I did. I went to council meetings and saw the presentations – did you? I called my councilman and asked questions – did you?

      I don’t have the answers either, but thats why I support Mayor Reed and Councilmen Oliverio, Licardo & Constant because they do. It may not be perfect, but they have a plan.

      Offer a solution here and I’ll take it to them personally. I’ll go to the council meeting and use my 2 minutes on your idea. I’ll do it because I want to find a solution – not bitch about the problem and place blame on te people who are fighting to fix it.

      I hope to see you at a District Budget Meeting. Because I will be there.

      And I’m not hiding behind a screen name either, I’m proud to sign my name.

      Kevin Johnson

      • The retirement system in San Jose relies on investments. Back in the day of Milk and Honey when everyone in this valley was rich from start-ups and their investments were paying throught he roof, San Jose did not take that money and divert it into a safer more conservative market. San Jose, instead started spending the money like a 15 year old girl with a credit card. Now in hard times when it would be nice to have that nest egg, the city is broke. They still owe the money from their irresponsible spending (City Hall). So the city blames the cops and firemen for being greedy. Why weren’t they greedy in the late 90’s? These “unsustainalbe” benifits the current mayor and some council people offered police and fire did not show up over night. The situation is akin to having someone open a credit card account in your name and spending $100,000 and leaving you to blame and to pay the money. Would you be mad?

      • If you would read deeply through all of these blogs, you would see ginormous amounts of great suggestions; however they will never get a second look because the powers that be will do what they want to do and how they want to do it. Evidently, you have not taken the time to read through these blogs, in depth. Typical. Give it a try and enlighten yourself. Oh…glancing does not count.

      • That’s your evidence?  Going to city hall and listening to the council speak?  Well it is a start and it is more then most anyone else.  However, you’re not going to find the evidence of the crime there.  Like the other poster stated, just read what others have stated and form your opinion.  I did and I’m afraid I don’t hold the mayor or the council in high regards.

        Don’t forget about the facts.

        The city has loaned millions to the RDA.  The RDA has loaned (I’ve heard given) millions to political contributors (i.e. developers) and former Mayor McEnery (i.e. Urban Markets).  It is in my opinion money laundering at the taxpayer’s expense. 

        Let us not forget that the RDA has spent millions purchasing land that was or is in the process of being deeded to a different entity to shelter it from Gov. Brown.  The old city hall deal is a sham. 

        Let me guess you didn’t get that from the council’s presentation did you?  Mr. Johnson spending is out of control and your merely drinking the kool aid if you think it is all about the employees and the pensions. 

        The mayor and council have suggested that if the “cancer” employees don’t take 10% reduction then they will layoff 350 officers (not sure how many SJFD).  This represents a loss of $35 million or more in training lost and another $35 million or more to re-train sometime in the future.  Is this a solution to the problem or adding to the problem?

        I am behind the city stream lining the city work force but it must be in conjunction with fiscal responsibility.

      • Actually, there are several local agencies that are hiring, including Santa Clara and Palo Alto.  As are several other agencies that are not so local.  While there is an economic downturn, these other cities are still able to maintain a respectable officer-to-citizen ratio.  These agencies also pay better, have WAY better benefits (lower retirement and medical contributions), and require less stress and danger since they are smaller, safer communities.  It seems their councils, mayors, and city managers have simply managed their respective cities better, even through an economic downturn.  SJPD officers are flooding these agencies with applications.  San Jose is creating a bigger problem when it has to recruit, background, and train a new hire to replace all those that Mayor Reed scared away.

    • Mr. Cop,

      Excellent Post.  Too bad that Chuck Reed could really give a crap about you or what you have done for us citizens. 

      To you sir, I salute you and thank you.  I really hope you are lucky enough and you can hang around and keep your job and not be laid off… 

      Your job in Chuck’s eyes is in the way of the Stadium he “is” going to build. 

      This will be a city with no Police Officers, no Firefighters, no infrastructure personnel to do the real work.

      I am embarrassed to tell people that I’m from San Jose. 

      Old Frank

    • I wish you only the best my friend, you can be the best officer San Jose ever had and this city council could care less if you don’t have the seniority to avoid the cuts.  I hope you find another department who will appreciate your devotion and calling.

      Retired (Thank God)

  8. Don’t get in trouble at Santana Row, or the same security team will ban you for life, and they have every rights to do so since it’s private property.

  9. PO

    Good Work, as Council member you are the only one who is willing to state your top budget priority – policing and why  

    For 10 years past and current Mayor, rest of Council and City Hall have been either totally lacking or very weak in k political and budget leadership

    They have been unwilling to make hard political choices decisions to fund essential services first and all played politics year after year giving away needed taxes to non essential or nice to have services and unnecessary political projects while cutting essential services

    Keep up the good work.  Don’t let those with no workable solutions, but don’t want their tax funded non essential services or projects cut, get you down

  10. In contrast to your view I find Oliverio refreshing and willing to say how it is.  Police carry a gun while Fire cooks chili.

    • Neville,
      Really that is what you think? I am guessing you have never spent a day at a station to see what we do because I can assure you I have barely had time to eat let alone cook chili as you say.  Are you just basing your comments on the news media and Pier?

    • Thank God Police carry guns, among the *many* other things they do to protect and serve the citizens of San Jose. A gun only solves a fraction of the problems the Police fix for City residents each day.

      As you say, Firefighters cook chili… some pretty darn good. They are also the ones who the City has tasked to solve a different set of problems.

      They put out house fires. They also put out wildland fires such as those that burn the hillsides and the creeks each year. The put out vehicle fires, dumpster fires, trash fires, warehouse fires, highrise fires. They deal with the toxic waste of meth labs dropped off on in your front lawn. They offload hundreds of gallons of diesel from overturned concrete trucks. They clean up the toxic waste of fires and explosions in San Jose’s manufacturing facilities. They rescue window washers trapped on the side of high rise buildings when their rig breaks. They use boats to pull residents out of the middle swollen streams during our annual flooding. They pull unconscious workers out of confined spaces with toxic atmospheres. They stabilize trenches and extricate construction workers trapped while laying lines. They pull trapped families off their stranded boats in the Bay. They stabilize buildings that have been made unstable after vehicles crash through walls. They rip open cars and trucks to pull out families after devastating crashes. They inspect your schools, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and apartment buildings to ensure escape doors are not latched shut and sprinkler systems are functional. They search through collapsed buildings, finding and pulling victims from the rubble. They ensure that new buildings are safe from design traps that have killed thousands over the years. They lift concrete sewage pipes off workers. They carry the same drugs and equipment that every hospital uses to return pulses to people with stopped hearts. They stop the bleeding and provide precious fluids to those who have been shot or stabbed. They turn the blue face of an asthmatic child pink again. They show up at your office and give your boss the medications needed to stop the effects of a heart attack. They scoop up the unconscious diabetic in the shopping mall food court and treat them to instantly turn around their condition. They assess and treat drunks in the street so the City isn’t sued for thinking someone is intoxicated when they have a serious medical condition. They stabilize the seizing truck driver found in the gas station bathroom. They treat your son and your daughter on college campus when they’ve had too much to drink and are found unconscious in the bushes. They force and climb through the window to reach your mother when she’s called for help but can’t get up. They cut apart steel playground equipment to free your child’s broken leg from being trapped. They carry broken-backed bicyclists up from deep ravines in our parks. They teach your children about fire and medical safety in your schools. They distribute smoke alarms to destitute families. They enter toxic smoke filled environments to find trapped family members. They secure downed power lines during storms. They provide for your safety when your car crashes into a transformer box. They stop the flow of natural gas into your house when your neighbor backs his RV into his gas meter. They clean up spilled fuel from your alleys. They respond to reports of mysterious white powder, analyze it and render it harmless. They file the reports that you use when you file an insurance claim for fire damage, personal injury, assault injury, or otherwise. They test your fire hydrants to make sure they still work and are not clogged or rusted shut. They force open the doors of stuck elevators when people are having a medical emergency inside.

      They do a few other things as well.

      And, oh yes, they do not carry a gun and some can cook chili.

      • I don’t know who you are, but that was the best rendering yet of all of the “unofficial-official” duties we are asked to perform as public servants.

        My favorite is the 44 year old Mom who called police because her 8 year old son wouldn’t eat his dinner.

        Yes, they are out there and they reproduce! Come to think of it, that was a long time ago. The kid would be just about PLO’s age now.

  11. Social contract?  It goes like this:  we pay taxes and our politicians spend it as they damn well please, making up the rules as they go along.

  12. Pier,
    While your basic points in the article are true your leaving out of the FD functions in enforcing the “social contract theory” is I am sure no error on your part rather another snub to the FD. There are certain functions in government that are not in competition with one another rather all are integral parts of our societies health and well being. If you do not have the PD then you have anarch;  if you do not have the FD yours houses and neighborhoods burn, you don’t get rescued from auto accidents, EMS is not provided in a timely manner and when you have a HAZMAT problem you just face the consequences; if you do not have clean drinking water people get sick; if you do not have a functioning sewer system or waste management you end up with rampant health problems and diseases. My point here is that your constant one sided belief that the only priority is PD is negligent. Just because you read something about a theory does not mean it is the only priority, rather one of many needed priorities in a modern society. Based on your previous articles and posts it is clear what your view of the FD is, the question is why?  I have said this before but it is worth repeating, you are supposed to be a leader in this city and as such you should not be degrading the very people you are supposed to be leading. I think you are like so many people in todays society who will sit back and cut, cut , cut and ridicule societies protections until they need them and then it will be “oh my God” why isn’t the PD there immediately or why did the FD take so long or why did it take 17 min for an ambulance, etc, etc. We all need to be careful about what we get rid of as someday we may need it and it will not be there.

  13. Social Contract – between the governed and government where we accept limitations on ourselves (taxes to zoning) in return for benefits (enhanced public safety, removal of blight, etc.)

    Rule of Law – No kings or aristocracy who are above the law, everyone operates under the same rules.  In this system of justice the people can be ruled by just rulers who they know must act according to the same rules as them.

    America – not quite a democracy, has many wealthy elites who seem to enjoy more rights than others.  Some interpret “rule of law” to mean rule by lawyers.  Multi-culturalism has been selectively interpreted to mean negotiable rights for separate groups and empowerment issues/fights.  All in all, though, we do have a relatively civil society where police and the rest seem to keep the peace while people go about their lives.

    Tech – UK has gone this route with automated cameras patrolling the commute lanes and congestion management area of London.  Highly networked observation systems are used in all manner of law enforcement.  Big brother watches, but who cares unless you’re hanging from an overpass on 87 with a can of spray paint trying to express your teen angst?  I think we’ve already given up the illusion of privacy between facebook and the patriot act.

  14. If I had a desire to become a police officer, I would want to be trained by San Jose. I would spend a few years on the SJPD for the big city experience and then move to one of the smaller, quieter, and better funded cities in the area. But I’m too old anyway. smile

  15. The “Public Employee Pension Reform Act.” a proposed initiative has been turned into the Attorney General. a first step toward qualifying a measure for the June 2012 ballot. 

    If voters approve such a measure, there would be a court challenge. There are federal cases in which judges have ruled that governments can change pension arrangements if costs are too high. 

    A new poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California shows 84.5 percent of likely voters view government pensions as posing either a big problem or somewhat of a problem, up from 77.3 percent a year ago. Support is even stronger among Republicans, at 92 percent.

    The initiative is necessary since Democratic lawmakers at the Capitol are unable to reach a budget deal that involves pension reform.

    Sacramento Bee has summarized its main points:

    “Set the retirement age for all California public employees, including current workers in every classification, at age 62.
    • Limit retirement benefits for a public agency employee to no more than 60 percent of the highest annual average base wage of the employee over a period of three consecutive years of employment.
    • Split the employer/employee contribution to pensions equally.
    • Exclude unused leave time from pension calculations.
    • Ends retroactive pension increases.”

    If the Democratic Governor and Legislature are politically unwilling to reform government employee pensions back to reasonable and sustainable levels, the voters will reform state and local government pensions in June 2012

    • SJ residents be careful what you wish for. If the council cuts as many police and fire as they say -you need to protect yourselves and be ready to just call in crime reports because no officers will come to investigate a crime.  I suggest you move to a community that cares about protecting you and your family.

    • When they can’t get quality people to fill government positions, they will start to try and win them back with decent salaries and pensions. It has happened many times before. Government people…just walk away and leave them to take care of themselves. And to the private sector…when government employees leave their government jobs, they’re going to take their educated selves to the private sectors…and take YOUR jobs. Think about it; an influx of government employees into the private sector—and they will be snapped up. Then they can say “Bye-Bye” to YOU. KARMA.

  16. …more nauseating rhetoric rationalizing the dismantling of SJPD. Funny but I don’t think CRIME gives a damn about your “social contract”. It lives, thrives and touches who it pleases. For those like yourself, who remain insulated from crime and enjoy easy VIP access to special police services, this is another opportunity to wax eloquent. Perhaps you might consider applying your playground “fair” logic to the procurement of other goods/services enjoyed by the CSJ. let’s take healthcare for instance. Tell Kaiser and all of those HMOs, “Come on guys, let’s be fair, you shouldn’t and can’t charge us more,….” Result,…you’d get laughed off the phone. Instead you pass on the costs to CSJ employees. All this while the council approves a 2 million dollar expenditure for “green” energy fuel cells for the Ice Center. Better “green” than safe is the message. Let’s not discuss the exposure faced by the CSJ with the cute deal driving the renovation at the convention center. This council could serve in Alaska and justify buying ice from Russia!!!!

    • Don’t cry when your the next victim and your told sorry we don’t have enough officers to help you.  Please call 411 and file a report over the phone.

  17. ” Don’t get in trouble at Santana Row, or the same security team will ban you for life, and they have every rights to do so since it’s private property.”

    That’s Great, keeps those that misbehave out which is an appropriate penalty for gangs, drunks, losers and troublemakers causing problems for everyone else

    Too bad city can’t ban troublemakers from downtown city property like courts do with gang members and private property owners can with stores and shopping centers

    Why don’t downtown clubs have a “banned troublemakers list” for all clubs to clean op clubs ?

    Can the city strongly suggest to Downtown Association the Clubs PR group or require that clubs maintain a “banned troublemakers list” which if clubs keep out repeat troublemakers would show city that individual clubs are trying to fix problems and those clubs who don’t cooperate would be closed like Club Wet

    • When I worked at the old main library there was a process where some folks could get trespassed out of the library, and it was used reluctantly when someone really was a repeated nuisance (intoxication, body odor, sleeping, lurking around the children’s section without any good reason for being there, etc.)

      I suspect the same legal tool is available and used at the new main library and other public spaces.  Its kind of a last resort though, and most of the time folks really do listen to warnings (even homeless folks who are grateful for a comfortable place to spend the day out of the weather.)

  18. PLO
    I really don’t think you truly understand or know what the social contract is or how the Police Department and Fire Department uphold it because if you did you would not continue to separate the two.  Public safety can’t be separated like you continue to try to imply.  The Police can’t provide the type of protection and care that the Fire Department provides and the Fire Department can’t provide the protection or care that the Police Department provides.  Trying to say one is more important than the other is just another uneducated comment being suggested by a very bad politician.  These type of uneducated and poor decisions in all areas of running the city are examples of why San Jose is in the financial mess we are today. 

    Another extremely BAD, DANGEROUS, and UNEDUCATED suggestion coming from Pier’s mouth is the lower staffing on fire engines.  With the cuts our department has already taken (“lowest staffing levels in the county in every category”) and the ones that you think we can endure and still provide a safe and efficient “emergency response” are sadly mistaken.  Our staffing numbers clearly show we are not by any means running with extra firefighters and actually it shows the complete opposite.  It’s not just about how many firefighters are on an engine or truck (which you seem to be stuck on) it’s about how many firefighters we can get to a scene as quickly and safely as possible and we already fall behind in those number when you look at the other county departments as compared to San Jose.  So, how can you think it’s safe to cut more? 
     
    I have a GREAT suggestion for you to save some money….since you like comparing our fire departments staffing to other city’s within the county and you continue to suggest to running SJFD which is the busiest, shortest staffed in every catagory ALREADY, and LOWEST paid in the county….why don’t we reduce the number of city council members from our county HIGH of 11 to at least the county average of 5.5?  We can expand each of the remaining 5 or 6 council members areas saving us millions in over paid politicians that really don’t do much for the citizens anyways.  Hows that sound since your so concerned about what the other city’s in our county have staffing wise?

    Not such a good idea comparing anymore is it? 

    It’s amazing to see how that in a time of crisis the untrained and uneducated have began to turn against their employees and point blame so the focus is no longer on them.

    • I love it…….we should cut some of these districts and kick some of these career politicians to the curb.  Thats an awesome idea, I’m in.

      • Since you are curious. Why dont you ask the man who’s life was saved last week. There was a family who called because thier father had collapsed and they began CPR on him. When the fire engine arrived the whole crew (4 firemen) started working on the man. One person began chest compressions, another stated to breath for the patient, another started an IV and another was getting the equipment ready to put a breathing tube down patients throat. By the time they got the man to the hospital the victim was awake and able to shake the hands of the fire fighters. Hope that answers your question. So go ask that family if the staffing levels made a difference cause obviously the city doesn’t care about lives

        • These firefighters do an OUTSTANDING job and save lives daily. I’ve seen it many times and witnessed family members crying with joy as scenes like the above have played out. The above is a classic example. Well done SJFD.

        • Awesome question.

          Using data from the 2010 Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) report, chaired by San Jose City Councilmember Pete Constant…

          The local cities you mention place TWICE as many Engines on the streets (1.01 Engines per 10,000 residents) as San Jose does (0.50 Engines per 10,000 residents).

          Since they have so many engines, they can dispatch more engines when needed for a significant call. These engines are relatively close to each other and quickly support each other.

          San Jose has half as many Engines spaced much farther apart. But with 4 people on each, they are much more independent and frequently do not required a second engine to respond, or if they do, can be fully functional for the extended period of time it takes for the next engine to arrive.

          Simply, the City chose to save money by running half as many engines with an extra person on each, rather than doubling the number of engines that would be needed to follow the model of local cities.

          This model’s savings is shown, per the LAFCO report, in the total cost of fire services per resident:
          Palo Alto     $244
          Mountain View $228
          County Fire   $224
          Milpitas     $178
          San Jose     $122

        • CPR is not the main problem as it only accounts for a small amount of calls but to answer the exact point, they get buy at the expense of not getting other things done right. Here is an example, if a Firefighter is doing chest compressions, a Fire Engineer(the driver) is doing ventilations and the Captain is gathering history from the family and controlling the scene this leaves no one to secure the Engine outside,no one to get equipment, no back up to doing CPR, no person to get meds going, etc. What you get is other things suffering.
          A 4 person crew is safer and gets much more done on fires as has recently been proven in a lengthy study.
          If you need a certain number of Firefighters on a fire scene and you have 3 person crews then you have to call for more companies to get the same number. This in turn reduces the coverage in the rest of the city.

        • Still how many?:

          The answer is: not nearly as well or as efficiently as a team of 4 firefighters. I’m a 30+ year paramedic. I’ve run hundreds of CPR calls and I can tell you that 4 personnel is the bare minimum number of folks needed to get it right. In a hospital emergency room, there are 8-12 personnel running the “code” at a well-staffed hospital. When a fire crew arrives on scene with 1 paramedic who is in charge of the medical care, the remaining 3 have their hands full as well. The captain/supervisor is responsible for the overall scene safety and coordination, as well as for dealing with distraught family members, collecting medical information on the patient and documenting the events and procedures that are taking place. This is after he/she helps move the 300 lb. unresponsive patient from the bathroom floor, to an open area where work can begin. He/she must also assist with the carrying of and setting up of medical equipment, while the paramedic assesses the patient. The other two firefighters are performing CPR, moving furniture out of the way and suctioning and wiping copious amounts of vomit from the patient’s mouth, so that the paramedic can see the patient’s vocal cords, when/he she places a breathing tube into the patient’s lungs. The firefighters are also assisting with the “shocking” of the heart with the defibrillator, while dodging exposed IV needles, medication ampules, etc.

          While running a CPR call is far from pretty, it is well orchestrated and everyone has their multiple jobs to do, while maintaining their own emotions. If the patient has any chance at all, all 4 firefighters must bring their “A game” and work efficiently as a team. You can’t get the same results with a 3 person team.

        • So do residents in Los Gatos or Cupertino die in larger percentage on medical calls, since they have only 3 fire fighters?  Seems like 2 people would be enough to do CPR.

        • In a nutshell, with cpr, one thumps the chest while another controls the airway and breathes for the patient. They can continue to do this while the pt quietly dies.

          CPR briefly sustains the body until immediate action can be taken to actually save the life. Family needs to be interviewed to determine possible causes that can be treated and to ensure the patient’s wishes are honored. An IV line needs to be established, which is difficult with no blood pressure. Drugs must be drawn up and administered. The pt must be assessed for causes… cardiac monitoring, blood sugar, etc. Fluids must be administered. Electrical therapy evaluated, set, and delivered. The pt must be exposed and moved to a place of access. Documentation must be made to avoid legal exposure of the city. Etc.

          This is all a matter of workload vs resources. Three people positioned closely to the patient (twice as many engines) get there sooner and have more time for three people to do the work. When the ambulance arrives from a nearby post, an additional two people go to work.

          3 person crews with twice as many engines are nearby, getting on scene in around 4 minutes, and have precious extra minutes to do the work. San Jose’s 4 person crews are spaced farther apart and take over 7 minutes to arrive, and the ambulance later still. They need more people to do the same work in less time.

          After 10-12 minutes, the whole effort is essentially futile regardless of how many people arrive on scene.

        • ha! ha! ha! oh man! thanks for the laughter! Okay, here is the NEW plan-when we get called on your mother (or grandmother)or if (let’s hope not, but it could happen)one of your children get severely hurt in an accident-we will only have 2 of our crew, do CPR on your loved one (we’ll have the other 2 crew members stand and just watch). Too bad it won’t be enough personnel to start an IV so that we can give life saving medication to restart the heart and we won’t be able to insert an advanced airway to give them precious oxygen. In fact, there will be no point in calling 911 at all. Shoot, just throw them in a car and transport them yourself. Now let’s see what “percentage” die…ummmmmmm! You seriously, need to do a ride along so you can educate yourself!

        • How many is enough?:

          Dude, you are ignorant. Your alot like the politicians fighting a war and telling the Generals,…“Wow, that’s alot of soldiers, do we reeeeeeeallly need that many”.

        • Is to just let them see for themselves. We just need to stop all of this bantering back and forth because hard heads are not going to understand what you are trying to get across to them. Just let it happen and let them go screaming and yelling about the lack of service they are not getting. Then and only then will they “get it”. They will come to this blog and make all of these idiotic, silly, childish statements but will be the first ones to call when they have trouble. Just let them suffer to that point. Then things will change. They need to have the experience…and they will at some point in their lives. At that point, they will understand. I hope they will then remember all of the dumb stuff that they wrote. Let it go.

  19. I’m starting to think the city wants to pit the police and firefighters against each other. Divide and Conquer tactics! Pretty sad if that’s the case here.

  20. To Pierluigi Oliverio,
      I have one question. Is it true that your house was robbed and you called the police chief directly to get a sergeant over to your house immediately? Did you do that because you know that with all these cuts you are implementing means it would have taken a couple hours for PD to get you your house? True Story. This actually happened too!!!!!

    • Ben,

      Fortunately my home has not been robbed. To avoid being a victim of crime I have taken advice from the numerous neighborhood watch meetings I have attended and fortified my home as recommended.

      Pierluigi

    • Actually Ben, I just found out from a source that it was city negotiator Alex Gurza’s house was burglarized. He called the chief who then sent out a lieutenant to take the report because Gurza didn’t trust having a Patrol Unit at his house taking the report.

      • Absolutely, positively believeable. GURZA is the CSJ chief negotiator and a mean [email protected]$$. But even mean [email protected]$$e$ like him can and do receive professional police services. Sadly he thinks we can’t be professional and ignore who is, what he does, and the manner in which he does it. Strongly dislike him? Yes,…but would that effect our execution of the job,….no!

        IMHO,…what GURZA did in requesting/receiving VIP treatment while other citizens go without should be ILLEGAL. Other politicians do not raise objections because they also want future VIP access.

  21. “Gurza didn’t trust having a Patrol Unit at his house taking the report.”

    Why not? A report is a report. What did he think would happen if a Patrol Unit came?

  22. I truly love my job as a San Jose Police officer. It has been my honor to serve the citizens of not just San Jose, but this entire region. I find this a fascinating career; in what other career could you deal with such a myriad of different people from one end of the spectrum to the other? After 25 years, no 2 days have ever been alike. One day you could be putting on a presentation for a bunch of high school seniors on the dangers of drunk driving, and the next night pulling a dead family out of fatal car accident, then getting to deliver the bad news to the relatives. You could be walking into a family crisis where it has not gotten bad enough to make an arrest, but you know it is on the verge of this depending if you can wear your psychology hat to get through to this family. The fate of this family, perhaps for generations, could hinge on the officers handling of this call. Perhaps you go on a call where a beautiful young family, with a beautiful newborn, finds the baby dead in her crib of SIDS, and you are the officer first on the scene, giving CPR knowing the baby is dead, then having to tell the inconsolable parents. Maybe you are the officer who gets to respond to talk to that 5 or 6 year old girl who has been repeatedly and viciously molested by a family member since they were an infant, and you hear details from this child of a sick pervert that most would not believe were they not in your shoes. Maybe you get sent to that domestic violence call where a women and children are beaten to within an inch of their lives by a suspect who threatens to come back and finish the job next time. Maybe you get sent on that physical fight involving multiple suspects and weapons, and you arrive first on the scene to have anger directed towards the cops, suddenly fighting with and individual high and drunk and just out of the joint. Despite all this I still love my job. Despite having a couple bad knees, a bad back, and hearing problems, I still love my job. Despite being shot at, and my blood mixed with that of an AIDS patient in a fight, I still love my job. Despite working for midnites for many years and missing many family activities and holidays, I still love my job. I have an MBA from University of Santa Clara. Many of my coworkers have advanced degrees and were very successful in other fields. That is in great part why this organization has been so successful; it truly has drawn the best and the brightest. There really truly exists a thin blue line which interacts between the system and the citizens. This is where you want your best and brightest, but not security guards. You give us the power to arrest someone and change their life forever, you give us a gun to use deadly force to save another, you ask us to lay down our lives to take a bullet for an innocent citizen. And everyday we go to work, each major call we go to sucks just a little of our own soul from each of us wearing a uniform. We have families we go home to, but the images we take home from work are always with and eat slowly away at each of us. These past few months with the mayor referring to us as “cancers” and “being on the gravy train”, were devastating to hear for many officer.

  23. i think the cops in this town are heavy-handed and out of touch. out of touch about how they are perceived and out of touch about how pensions work in the real world.

    i live at 3rd and san fernando – our downtown core. i am so sick of seeing folks get roughed up, cops parking their cars at all four corners of my intersection, blocking access to the street when the clubs close and lining up with batons and all kinds of bravado like they’re expecting a riot. it gets real old and does nothing more than continue to contribute to the perception of san jose as a second rate – sort of – not quite a real city.

    as for the pension, i am a successful professional with a 6-figure salary. my employer certainly does not guarantee me or any colleague with a pre-determined pension amount at retirement. all of my retirement savings are up to me, except for an occasional discretionary bonus. there’s even less of a safety net (or none) for most folks who earn much less on average. this is the real world.

    • Eric,

      If you think SJPD officers are out of touch and heavy handed you should consider traveling outside of this county. Go to any major city within the US, not to mention outside of the US, and you just might come to appreciate SJPD officers. From the tone of your post you do not sound open-minded so I am probably wrong. You probably simply don’t care for police unless you are being victimized by a Sureno or Norteno.

      BTW, you want to talk about the “real world”? Come see half of what we see. You couldn’t stomach it. That is THE REAL WORLD. Your cushy cubicles are NOT.

    • eric-it is you actually, that is out of touch. If SJPD wasn’t on the “four corners” of your intersection, you’d be complaining that they weren’t doing their job to protect the residents and citizens against some of the drunk individuals that drive away from those clubs. Funny how some bloggers complain that public safety doesn’t do anything but sit around and drink coffee and others are complaining that they are working TOO much. So which is it? And as far as your comments about pensions and the real world…I bet you don’t worry about whether you will make it home to your family at the end of your working day. And that, is the difference between your “real world” and a cop’s “real world”

      • having lived in other major cities, i have never – ever – seen the show of force like i do in downtown san jose.

        strategically placed empty cop cars or walking past sneering officers after a nice night out, may serve to keep me safe, but it certainly doesn’t do much for the experience of living in a downtown environment.

        to me or any aware, thinking person who pays a premium to live on my block, it gives the distinct impression that something is wrong, about to happen or some other cause for concern… when in reality, there are folks going out to enjoy themselves and probably some had too much to drink.

        i think our tax dollars could be spent in a more productive manner, fighting more potentially threatening situations.

        and this concludes my input on this topic, because this conversation isn’t the least bit constructive.

  24. dear officer x (ha ha…): i have traveled to 26 countries. have you? regardless, that’s not relevant. i live in downtown san jose and that’s the topic of this blog.

    the chances of me being victimized by a gang member are pretty low. if that is the basis for such a huge and obnoxious police force on the weekends, then i’m baffled.

    i don’t work in a cubicle (and never saw one that’s cushy). i don’t think you know what i can stomach, but again, not relevant.

    • That’s because “eric” is really Chuck Reed.  You don’t have a cubicle, that’s because you have a comfy office on the 18th floor. 

      You have been to 26 countries, on taxpayer money,  I can’t figure out why someone who makes six figures would live in the “stinky armpit” of this valley that smells of urine? 

      Heavy handed?  Please go back to anyone of the 26 countries you have been to and mouth off to the cops there… You’d be in prison the rest of your miserable life or dead, the odds of that happening are pretty high anywhere outside of the US. 

      So please until you have walked a mile in the officers shoes don’t slam comments posted by our fine officers. 

      Odds are you have never served in the military for our country.

      Old Frank

    • eric:

      You said 3rd/San Fernando yet claim to be a six figure professional. K, just checking. Re your chances of being victimized, so be it. Other citizens not named “eric” aka Superman are victims daily. Enjoy the cubicle/desk/whatever.

      BTW,…next time you think about calling 911, don’t. Handle the problem yourself,….that too is the “Real World” my friend. You don’t have a monopoly on reality.

  25. It’s a shame that the dialogue here is so heated. Is it possible for plain old citizens with input or observations to have a constructive conversation with public sector employees? I really don’t get all the defensive posturing.

    • Disgusted-yes, it would be possible for “plain old citizens” to have a “constructive conversation with public sector employees”. However, first I ask you to read ALL the blogs on SJInside (you can also include the Mercury News)-then maybe you will understand WHY there is so much “defensive posturing”. Maybe you can tell me why there are many nasty blogs from “plain old citizens”. For example in this article, there are a couple of well written comments by Frank and A Cops Story. Please note, however, WHAT some “plain old citizens” wrote to them after their honest comments. Pretty disrespectful in my humble opinion. You wonder why we are “defensive posturing”-maybe because the people we have sworn to serve, along with the city, have turned their backs on the blue collar workers. And no, I’m NOT feeling sorry for myself (directed at the nasty comments to follow this blog), rather, I am fire-d up and pissed off. You, my friend, are not the only one “disgusted”.

  26. Chuck Reed, when you post please use your real name… We can tell it’s you because you hate all City Employees and pain old citizens and it shows in your posts. 

    In Regards to:  to fire-d up, frank, cops, etc… Sun, Apr 10, 2011 – 11:44 am

    Old Frank

  27. Ha Ha!

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site568/2011/0119/20110119_013826_fenton_VIEWER.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17276540&usg=__6tYbF0P6-mSOMVt0Y08B6frBS98=&h=140&w=187&sz=5&hl=en&start=32&zoom=1&tbnid=CsCcBYrNaL11tM:&tbnh=111&tbnw=141&ei=ENWwTd-BJ430swOMiOXwCw&prev;=/search?q=dan+fenton&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1600&bih=719&tbm=isch&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=377&vpy=142&dur=34&hovh=112&hovw=149&tx=75&ty=56&page=3&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:32

    Dan

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