As morale sinks and police officers continue to resign or retire from the San Jose Police Department, the Police Officers Association’s board of directors could call for a vote of no confidence in Police Chief Chris Moore. Moore has held the job officially for a little more than a year and a half, after serving in an interim role.
POA President Jim Unland recently wrote a column on the union’s website, Protect San Jose, that said the “dismantling to the SJPD is well underway.” When reached by phone Unland said he couldn’t comment on internal matters.
However, San Jose Inside has learned that Howard Johnson, a police officer who has been on the force for roughly two decades and is a POA board member, asked for the no confidence vote to be placed on the agenda at the POA’s monthly meeting. It’s unclear if Johnson’s motion has the support of the rest of the 15-person board.
Below is an email City Manager Debra Figone sent in support of Moore on Thursday to the City Council, Mayor Chuck Reed, Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell, City Attorney Rich Doyle and two members Figone’s staff, David Vossbrink and Ed Shikada:
“From: Figone, Debra
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 03:50 PM
To: Reed, Chuck; Constant, Pete; Kalra, Ash; Liccardo, Sam; Chu, Kansen; Campos, Xavier; Oliverio, Pierluigi; Nguyen, Madison; Herrera, Rose; Rocha, Donald; Pyle, Nancy
Cc: Moore, Christopher; Doyle, Richard; Cordell, LaDoris; Vossbrink, David; Shikada, Ed
Subject: Media inquiry regarding potential POA vote of no confidence
Honorable Mayor and City Councilmembers,
Reporter Damian Trujillo from NBC Bay Area requested an interview today with me regarding a potential action by the SJPOA board of directors to call for a vote of no confidence in Chief Moore. This item is on the POA board agenda for its meeting next Tuesday morning, August 7, when the board will decide whether to bring the matter to the full POA membership or to let it drop.
I met with Damian this afternoon to express my own strong confidence in the Chief and his leadership, especially during such tough times. Chief Moore has been a very strong advocate for our police force that serves our community well, and he has done an excellent job managing a difficult situation that he has inherited. Although I am disappointed that a vote of no confidence has become an issue with the POA, I also hope that it will not become a distraction among our officers. It is important that we work together and stay focused to deal productively with the many challenges facing the City and the department.
We expect Damian’s story will air on tonight’s Ch 11 newscasts at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00 p.m. It’s also very likely that we will receive additional news media inquiries about the POA board agenda item, and you might be approached by reporters. Please let me know if I can help.