Endorsement: ‘Yes’ on Measure F

Nearly 500 officers have resigned or retired from San Jose’s police department since 2012. With more than 200 vacancies and a backlog of assignments stretching mandatory overtime to unsustainable levels, SJPD has given up investigating all but the most serious crimes.

The department is so desperate for new officers it recently sent 11 cops to Hawaii on a $50,000 recruiting trip that was destined to fail. The lieutenant in charge of the trip admitted in an interview with San Jose Inside, “We’re willing to try anything right now.”

San Jose residents need to do one thing to help alleviate some of these issues, and that’s vote “yes” on Measure F.

The hope is this measure will allow the city to finally move past the acrimony of 2012’s controversial Measure B pension reforms. At that time, previous Mayor Chuck Reed was in office and negotiations between the city and its unions were stagnant. The city’s unfunded liability for pension benefits was ballooning out of control and Measure B presented an opportunity to correct course. It apparently went too far. Since that time there have been minor tweaks to ensure police officers are properly covered for disability, and a second tier of benefits was created for new hires. But the approval of Measure B changed the game so that voters must approve any new changes to the city’s charter.

Nearly every elected official and civil service employee at City Hall wants to see Measure F pass, and Police Chief Eddie Garcia has argued it is the only way for him to rebuild the ranks and improve morale. Failure to do so will only lead to more officer departures and keep the department uncompetitive as an employer. Vote “yes” on Measure F and the city can begin to focus on the future, rather than the past.

25 Comments

  1. San Jose Police Dept. has been in a crisis for quite sometime now. The urgency is noteable, but why did the Mayor’s office wait so long? San Jose needs aleast 2,000 sworn officers to patrol the city which has not ceased to grow. Then on top of that you add Bart which is coming in from the East Bay, which is only going to add to the problems because of the criminal elements. SJPD, was one of the finest in the Nation and one of the most educated.

  2. Surely SJI can be trusted with their Editorial recommendations… they endorsed Reed, Measure B (all along) and Sam Liccardo. Now trust them to fix the mess they created? Nope.

  3. Pretty funny seeing SJI endorse Measure F The ingredients of Measure F is what the Police POA and its members were trying to push with Chuck Reed and Sam Liccardo. They were having none of it. Now here we are. Exactly where they were told we would be. We have not hit the bottom yet, even if F is passed this council WILL low ball negotiations for next contract. They are not serious about fixing this yet. PLO certainly has come to the adult table yet. The free fall will continue as the hires will not keep up with people in the pipeline to resign as of now and the upcoming retirements. They lost 100 years of institutional knowledge and policing that was handed down since the 60’s This is an absolute disgrace. Sam helped torch the house on fire and now is promoting himself as the hero who is putting the fire out! He is an absolute failure! Lets just see how many of the SJ osterich voters will make their way out and vote. I wonder what Dev Davis position is on Measure F. Her signs dot the front yards of most willow glen. The same yards that had Measure B and SAM signs during last election. Way to go Bubble people!!!!

    • That was not well said Informer. I see ZERO Yes on B or F signs in Willow Glen. Not a one. I’m not sure if Yes on B lawn signs exist? Davis and Chapman have both publicly stated support for Measure F – are you even paying attention to the election??? And voter registration is over 70% in SC County. So how many from WG will vote – over 70%.

      Finally, policing institutional knowledge (100 years since the 60’s? – please us a calculator) being lost is a bad thing? As we see nationwide, policing techniques of the old days are no longer acceptable and policies/personal both need to be modernized for the new millennium – not policies from the 60’s (I can only imaging tactics from that era).

      • You missed the mark Teddy sorry… Yes indeed SJPD has lost its internal institutional knowledge that has been passed down from FTO to recruit of several decades. I never said outdated training or policies but the type of proactive police work that was handed down. Learning how to talk to gang members as well as heroin or meth users, knowing how to work informants, how to roll an 11550 who might have info on a bigger fish ie a drive by, homicide or gang rape. This is being lost right now as there are not enough FTOs and many are very young. I dont expect you to grasp it as you are obviously not a cop. As far as WG goes well sorry their track record of snubbing its police officers speaks for itself in their overwhelming vote for Liccardo and Measure B. If you’re saying Dev doesnt support Sam’s policies then I can only hope you are correct as those policies have gotten us to where we are now. Unless you are one of the Dev online aid/helpers. Shades of Shane Patrick Connely.

  4. Measure F will be the greatest disaster to befall public safety workers in San Jose since Measure B! How the SJPOA could possibly, in their wildest most obsequious imagination had even considered endorsing this is beyond my comprehension!

    Read (Reed?) this:>>> “There shall be no enhancements to defined retirement benefits in effect as of January 1, 2017
    without voter approval”<<<. !!!!!! That's Measure F language!

    Contract bargaining between police and the City has just been transformed from "meet and confer" at the bargaining table to POLITICAL CIRCUS at the ballot box! The SJPOA won't have to bargain for pay raises and improvements to retirement benefits anymore; No: NOW THEY WILL HAVE TO POLITICALLY CAMPAIGN FOR THEM!…and there is no way in Holy Hell to explain the intricacies of negotiated pay and benefit increases to the voters, if they even cared enough to listen, so that they would be able to make an informed decision and City Hall has already proven with Measure B that they are very adept at duping the often apathetic voters. It’s as Abe Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time…”and that’s all it will take to keep SJPD the lowest compensated big city law enforcement agency in the Bay Area or even California and to put less than a band aid over the festering wound of police staffing.

    Contract impasse had previously been settled through binding arbitration where an arbitrator chose the most reasonable between two last final offers, either that of the SJPOA or the City. Now, impasse will need to be settled by ballot box? Binding arbitration was a fair, effective way to keep the stain and stench of politics out of public safety negotiations so that cops and fire fighters and City Hall and the voters were not adversarial during or after contract negotiations. I cringe at the unintended consequences sure to arise as the City reinfects this process with this new strain of political bacteria.

    Measure F is nothing more than an attempt by local politicians to pretend that they are doing something to address the police staffing crisis that they created but it will only make it worse.

    • As one of those weird people that took the time to Read the measure…it says nothing about pay raises. Personally my understanding is the Tier 1 system for police n fire is close to Pers. Why would you think you’d get more? 90% maximum isn’t enough?

      • Pay affects retirement benefits inasmuch as retirement compensation is calculated from the final average salary for those years right before retirement. Pay raises would then technically affect retirement benefits and the City will sooner or later exploit that as their treachery in the past has made so abundantly clear.

        As for this mythical and much maligned 90% retirement, of the dozens of cops I know, the vast majority retired at around 75-78%. I know of only 1 out of the 50 plus I know who got out at 90% and he worked for the PD for 32 years and retired when he was 58 with the creaking body of a busted up old rodeo cowboy. I know a hell of a lot more techies and yuppies who retired, cashed in their company stock options and are living on their 401k’s and other company funded benefits like yearly bonuses (some of which were almost half a year’s salary for 20 years or more) and investments and are making over 100% of their final average salary.

        You want to complain about retirement benefits for public safety? Go check out what even a mid-level employee who has worked at Google for 20 years makes when they retire. Retirement age for cops and firemen too low for you? Consider that someone who has had a military career can deservedly retire at age 48 after 20 or more years of service with a government pension and still is young enough to start another career, if they are so inclined. It seems that occupations that allow the lower age limit for retirement are also those that require the greatest risk but it seems that so many of those who take no risk during their careers complain the loudest at age 40, when some cop or firemen or soldier retires at age 50.

        And I don’t know any yuppie who retired with a scar from a bullet or stab wound or with rods in a busted up back or a plate in his head from fighting some prison-buffed PCP freak but I know at least a half dozen cops who have. Those greedy bastards.

        • Admittedly unlike you, I do not know 50 San Jose cops. But the two in my neighborhood and their own Union (in the news stories) strongly support measure F. If you aren’t a sj cop why would you advocate against something they are asking for? Let them be already.

          • Measure F is not in the best interests of SJPD officers. Binding arbitration was but now, for reasons inexplicable, SJPOA has somehow put all four feet in the air on Measure F.

            SJPOA has no bargaining power without money now to mount a political campaign to persuade voters to increase retirement benefits. Don’t take my word for it. When Measure F passes, and 3-4 years from now there are less than 500 cops left, tell me dumb I am then.

            Binding arbitration and bargaining in good faith would help fix the problem. Measure F is just political cover for those who caused the problem in the first place with Measure B.

            Where is the leadership of the SJPOA? Why would they agree to endorse Measure F?

  5. This is just nuts. I want to vote NO on F but I don’t want police officers to get the message they are not valued. They are! I want our police officers to be making the highest salary of all city workers. When a sniper was at my apartment complex, it was a SWAT team that safely got me out of my apartment without me getting shot. They LITERALLY (yes, the word applies here), put their bodies in front of mine.

    It’s the reckless pension systems that worry me. These benefits are tied to a failing financial system that is the problem for me. I want to pay the police officers more now, not in a benefits package tied to fraud based ponzi-schemed investment plan.

    These investments are those that end up sinking a city. How do I vote NO on F but let officers know that I think their salary’s should be the highest of all a city’s occupations! It’s the benefits that are linked to the core financial systems that I’m against.

    Anyone who takes an oath to stand between me and a bullet deserves to be making a salary that is commensurate with that selfless act.

    Where is the tax increase on the ballot to pay to increase police officers salary directly? I would be for that! (forget the parcel tax for schools, the bonds for transit, the parcel tax for housing). Forgot ALL these taxes. Let’s get a tax to directly benefit police officers!!! They should be making a higher salary – period.

    That is a tax based measure I would have voted for, but measure F isn’t that.

    • Mr. Salary,

      Mr. Salary,

      Cops don’ get commissions, nor stock options, nor profit sharing, nor bonuses; nor 401k’s or any of the other benefits so common in the private sector. All they receive is their retirement benefits at the end of their career, if they make it that far. This is as it should. Society does not want, nor does the community deserve, to have cops looking to make extra arrests or write extra tickets in order to increase bonuses or commissions or to make extra cash to put in their 401k. This would lead to unfair enforcement and even corruption.

      SJPD officers know it’s politicians like former mayor Chuck Reed who are the problem, not the average citizen. Measure F is a bad solution. Voting against it would be the right thing to do.

      And if you want the police officers to know you support them, just smile, wave and maybe give a thumbs up to the next one you see. That goes further with them than you think.

  6. I just think its comical that SJI is now endorsing and supporting the passage of Measure F. This is the same organization that was instrumental in pushing Reed, Licardo and Figone’s false narrative, skewed numbers, outright lies and destructive falsehoods that helped to sink the police department as well as several other crucial departments within the City.

    They SJI, have never at least to my recollection, ever done anything that hasn’t directly benefitted Reed, Licardo or their own political agenda. It appears on its face, like this is most likely some sort of self serving act that will also benefit the aforementioned trio. It should make everyone reading this, question what their motive is now and why they have apparently flipped their deep seated position of a few years ago.

    They SJI, are now supporting and publicly trying to defeat a Measure they spent so much time and energy on trying to implement, Measure B. It just makes me wonder, have they found a conscious, realized they were wrong and are trying to right the ship? It would be nice to think so, but I’m not so sure and I sure as heck don’t believe they are doing this out of the goodness of their heart because they realize Measure B was a bad idea.

  7. I personally hope for the best, because something definitely needs to be done…you can no longer put the problem on the back burner. I have been living in San Jose for 32 yrs. this is the worst I’ve seen it. What puzzles me is that we are in one of the Richest Counties, and Cities in the World, you would think we wouldn’t have these problems. The situation is a sad one, by not having enough officers, you put in jeopardy the lives of so many people. Please help SJPD by voting yes on measure F.

  8. Ah, the usual “techies get rich easy and live a life of luxury so should public employees” argument.

    Those techies/yuppies you know of are a decade or 15 years old. The stock IPO / “FU money” phenomenon no longer exists. No working techie gets oodles and oodles of stock options. Please show me this group (a single example doesn’t cut it) of techies who got a bonus equal to a 1/2 years pay and who are making over 100% of their final salary. This sounds like a fairy tale.

    So you want to straddle an entire generation with paying for public servants to get guarenteed GOOD medical and GOOD retirement income; while everyone else is living off of food stamps and hoping Social Security will cover the extreme rise in health care costs?? 401K’s have not performed very well since 2000 (AND they were never intended to be the only form of pension). That’s going to make a whole new generation of elderly poor when the current 50’s year olds even try to retire when they’re 67. There is no retire at 55 option for the rest of us.

    • Mr. O’Brien,

      If you have to ask the question it’s almost not worth answering. I’m no actuarial but check out the retirement benefits for Google; Apple; ConocoPhillips; Perkins and Coie; Amgen; Philip Morris Intl; just to name a few. Good god man, wake up.

      Those in the private sector have the potential of a 401k blossoming into millions (my dad bought gold about $400.an ounce when he started his 401k and sold it at about $1700 an ounce and he’s a millionaire, from just this one company-assisted investment, not to mention an IRA and some of the other retirement benefits his company provided or contributed to; Including medical.

      Those in the public safety business give up a chance at an executive salary, profit sharing, bonuses, stock options, a chance at big wealth and sometimes even paid overtime, in exchange for a modest, hopefully reasonable paycheck and a relatively secure pension for doing a job that can be dangerous and is always less than glamorous. Public safety employees are also forced into mandatory Medicare at age 65 too, if they live that long, and many will not receive social security retirement benefits because they got into public safety work young, before earning enough work credits in the private sector to qualify.

      That this retirement “strategy”, if it can even be called that, happened to have weathered the recent economic storm well, while the would-be millionaires rolled their 401k dice and came up snake-eyes, seems now to be the object of scorn and resentment and conveniently ignores the millions of dollars that public employees pay into their own retirement system.
      .
      City Hall bottom feeders like Reed and Liccardo, as well as their stooges always fail to mention the approximate $25,000,000 plus a year that public safety employees in San Jose pay into the retirement system. Neither do they mention that the City benefits from the millions that it receives using investment credits on the surplus funds in the retirement system account. The public is easily duped by the likes of opportunistic politicos like Reed and Liccardo into believing that a public safety pension is some form of unearned, undeserved “police and fire department welfare”

      People like Reed and Liccardo make every effort to hide the fact that all these greedy, bloated, grasping public safety workers paid into the pension fund out their own wallets while the City just told the bank to roll over money that they never even had to earn, money that the City made from the interest on the money that the employees paid out of their own pockets. Ok accountants and actuarials, rip me apart but that is my understanding, the City gets the surplus on the fund.

      The appearance of greed by the employees and the impending y2k style non-disaster is a political construct. By demonizing any political inconvenience, in this case public safety workers, politicians make it easier to redistribute public money away from what may best serve the public interest and toward the projects that support political self-interests. I’m surprised that there is no “Chuck Reed Park” or baseball stadium…but I would support a “Liccardo Latrine” at Columbus Park.

  9. TransparentCalifornia.com

    City of San Jose

    Elgardo L. Garcia
    Assist Police Chief U

    Regular pay $211,430.05
    Overtime pay $0.00
    Other pay $8,875.91
    Total benefits $200,580.08

    Total pay and
    benefits $420,886.04

    I could live on $420,886.04.

  10. Salary Matters and David O’Brien have it right. Let’s get it all on the table and pay public safety workers all that they’re worth in salary and offer competitive 401(k) matching.

    No more politically fungible “ticking time bomb” can-never-be-reduced future liabilities based on Rosy Scenario investment returns. Put cash on the barrel-head today. It’s a clean deal where the employees know what they’re getting and the taxpayers know what they’re paying. What’s wrong with that transparency?

    This notion that most people in the private sector are basking in copious stock options (true for the lucky few before the dot-com crash) and generous retirement benefits (true nowhere) is a canard. Google and Apple don’t give a pension. It’s not the way the private sector has worked for over 15 years (for options) or 30 years (with respect to pensions).

    • > Put cash on the barrel-head today. It’s a clean deal where the employees know what they’re getting and the taxpayers know what they’re paying. What’s wrong with that transparency?

      I like it.

      Too much complexity is a surefire recipe for misunderstanding and disappointment.

  11. San Francisco Police force…2,108 sworn officers, with roughly over 1 Million in Population.
    San Jose Police force…812 sworn officers, with roughly over 1 Million in Population and growing.
    Something is definitely wrong with this picture. The big issue with this picture…is that it needs to be repaired.

    • Roberto,

      A San Jose cop recently gave a presentation to our class. His first statement was this:

      “Pay and benefits are not the reason that SJ has trouble filling openings.” (His emphasis).

      Argue with him if you want, but I think he knows the facts better than either of us.

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