Jim Unland

Police Union Gets Poetic

It’s come to this: Labor blasting city of San Jose officials via poetry. Bad poetry. Like really, really awful poetry. The missive at hand is a 12-line poem written in couplets by police union head Jim Unland.

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Final Ruling in Measure B Case

Last week, Santa Clara County Judge Patricia Lucas issued a final Measure B verdict. A reader wondered in an email why we didn’t write about it. Fair point, which brings us to this update. The final decision in the landmark pension reform case that forced employees to contribute 16 percent more of their pay to retirement costs is similar to the tentative ruling trotted out in December, except for a couple details.

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Proposals for San Jose Police Substation, Academy Retention under Scrutiny

Police Chief Larry Esquivel suggests holding off on opening the new-but-empty police substation in south San Jose until later next year. But are there enough officers on the force to staff a second field office? While the city considers the chief’s proposal, there are also a couple plans making their way to Wednesday’s Rules and Open Government Committee meeting to get cadets to foot the bill for their own training if they leave too soon after receiving their training.

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San Jose Police Academy Retention War Takes Inevitable Next Step

San Jose City Manager Debra Figone decided last week to end the suspense and remove “acting” from Larry Esquivel’s title as police chief, setting up a dramatic showdown. Not between cops and City Hall, though. An arsenal of memos over how to keep graduates of the police academy from jumping ship were fired off Tuesday. Just last week, it was widely reported that up to 17 cadets are taking their talents to different law enforcement agencies, leaving the city out about $2.9 million in training costs. On one side of the memo melee stands Sam Liccardo, armed with what he calls a “carrot and a stick.” On other other side stand Madison Nguyen and Johnny Khamis, carrying what they call a “first five” initiative. And in the middle, the police union is at the ready to shoot down both ideas.

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Police Academy Exodus Could Cost $2.9 Million; POA Asks Retirees to Refuse Jobs

Nearly half the class that graduated from the San Jose Police Academy a few weeks ago plans to leave for other departments, according to union leaders. And until the city offers a better disability pension plan to new police recruits, the Police Officers Association will keep encouraging cadets to find work elsewhere. On the opposite side of the experience spectrum, the POA is also telling retired officers to turn down jobs that would involve doing background checks on prospective officers.

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Leadership Transition Continues with City Manager Debra Figone’s Retirement

San Jose City Manager Debra Figone announced this week she will retire after overseeing city operations for six years. Her tenure, which will come to an end in December, has marked some of the most difficult years in the city’s history, as the City Council enacted layoffs and pay cuts to cope with historic budget deficits. Her departure will likely leave the city with an interim city manager, police chief and fire chief, all while the 2014 mayoral race is in full swing.

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Acting Police Chief Larry Esquivel Caught in Labor Crossfire

Breaking up is hard to do. Breaking up a fight between the San Jose police union and City Hall could be damn near impossible. In what appeared to be an effort to mend fences and remind people who’s the boss, Acting Police Chief Larry Esquivel recently sent an email this week to his command staff—roughly 50 deputy police chiefs, lieutenants and captains—scolding them for signing on to a letter critical of the city recent actions involving labor negotiations.

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