San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore will announce at a 2pm press conference today that he is retiring at the end of January 2013. David Vossbrink, the city’s communications director, confirmed that a national search for a new chief will be launched this week.
“We’ll want to get on it right away,” Vossbrink said. “It’s obviously a critically important position. It will be a national recruitment, We certainly welcome internal candidates, but we know that process is good for the department and the community.”
Moore shed the interim police chief tag in February 2011, after taking over the role from Rob Davis in October 2010. During his time as chief, Moore was forced to manage a department that saw 66 officers laid off and others leave through retirement or transfer. Meanwhile, the city cut officers’ pay and aggressively pursued pension reform.
In addition to a drop in department morale, this summer Moore received criticism for the rise in violence as the murder rate outpaced last year.
There was some speculation in early August that Moore lacked the support of his officers, and a no confidence vote was taken by the Police Officers Association‘s board of directors. Sources say that vote was overwhelmingly against a vote of no confidence.
In November 2011, San Jose Inside posted a Q&A between Moore and readers, who submitted questions. In that Q&A, Moore addressed concerns about him retiring if sick leave payouts ended.
Here is that question and answer:
Q: A couple of weeks ago, on at least two different occasions, you told officers that if the sick time buyout was lost/taken away you were going to retire because you could not afford the loss of $200,000.00+ dollars (the value of your sick time). In light of the POA’s recent pension proposal to the city—it does away with the sick time buyout—are you going to retire if the city accepts the POA’s proposal? — Where to Start?
A: I, along with all other City employees, am paying close attention to the pension reform negotiations currently underway at City Hall. Every one of our city employees will be facing some tough decisions as the presumed ballot measure takes its final form. Many senior staff throughout the city are waiting to see what the final ballot language says before they make any retirement decisions. As for me, I am proud to have served in the San Jose Police Department for over 26 years. Although I am eligible to retire, I enjoy my job very much and I hope to stay for several more years.
Obviously, something happened during that time to shorten his time on the job.
Moore had the interim title removed after City Manager Debra Figone selected him over Anthony Batts, who was serving as the police chief of Oakland at the time. Batts left the Oakland Police Department in October of last year.
There was a mixed reaction to Figone’s selection of Moore. Some community activists preferred Batts, while others felt Moore had all the necessary qualifications.
POA President Jim Unland, then vice president of the police union, said at the time: “Chris Moore is a star, so if he is the pick, yeah, we’ll be very happy about that. Quite frankly, as the community gets to know him better they’re going to be real impressed with him.”
In addition to the outgoing chief, Assistant Chief Rikki Goede, other members of the SJPD command staff, Figone and Independent Police Auditor Judge LaDoris Cordell will attend the press conference. Members of the City Council and Mayor Chuck Reed have also been invited to attend.