By the Numbers: San Jose Police Publish Use-of-Force Statistics

The San Jose Police Department recently unveiled a public web portal with comprehensive data on the agency’s use of force. Below are some of the findings from the analysis, which was conducted by Police Strategies LLC and is available online here.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 2.36.05 PMThe latest tally of officers on the roster, about two-thirds of which used physical force at least once from 2015 to 2017. On average, each cop used force 4.9 times.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.02.28 PMFrom 2007 to 2017, the number of annual arrests by SJPD fell from 35,998 to 15,229.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.03.26 PMThe number of times police resorted to physical force fell from 1,156 in 2007 to 639 in 2016.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.04.10 PMThe number of intoxicated or mentally ill suspects involved in use-of-force incidents dropped by half from 2007 to 2017.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 2.41.04 PMOfficers with less than five years experience comprise one-fifth of the department but account for 40 percent of all use-of-force incidents.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.07.53 PMThe number of female officers employed by SJPD. They make up just 10 percent of the department and from 2015 to 2017 accounted for less than 7 percent of all use-of-force incidents. Women wearing the badge were 31 percent less likely to use force than their male counterparts.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.07.02 PMThe injury rate of suspects involved in use-of-force incidents, which is notably higher than the 30 percent averaged among other law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.19.14 PMThe factor by which suspects engaged in disorderly conduct or trespassing are more likely to have a cop use physical force against them than those involved in traffic offenses or property, drug and non-violent sex crimes.


  1. Glad for the transparency, improved staffing numbers and reduced use-of-force. But why lump “disorderly conduct” and “trespassing” together? The fact that disorderly conduct leads to physical force more often than other crimes makes sense, but I’m not sure why trespassers would resist a police officer in the same fashion. I’m sure there are some cases where they do, but I would imagine that a lot of incidents are resolved when a cop shows up and tells someone that they shouldn’t be where they are.

  2. Trespassing often relates to homeless versus typical persons who would leave when police show up.

    More often the police are forcing a homeless person to abandon their belongings and it will always escalate in these situations.

    • > More often the police are forcing a homeless person to abandon their belongings and it will always escalate in these situations.

      If the trespasser/forager (aka “homeless person”) is somewhere they shouldn’t be with a shopping cart full of loot, how is the police officer supposed to know that it ISN’T stolen property?

      And . . . are we asking police officers to put on bio-hazard suits and sort through and tag the random leavings of a dozen different dumpsters?

    • Untrue. LaDoris ensured that homeless get to keep their trash and stolen property, even when arrested.

      • Wake up, are you serious? No, they most certainly aren’t going to have their homes packed up by the police as they sit in a police car.

        I certainly wouldn’t think that’s a good use of police patrols. I also wouldn’t think its a good use of time bothering the homeless.

  3. In conveying arrest rate differences over the period cited using the percentage change is the least informative statistical form. The numbers contained in the statistic but not reported:

    — For every 100 arrests made today, SJPD made 236 arrests ten years earlier.
    — On a day-to-day basis, officers make 57 fewer arrests today than they did a decade ago.
    — In 2017, SJPD made 1 arrest for every 130 hours billed the taxpayers, a rate that indicates a return to 2007 performance levels would, under current leadership, require hiring an additional 1224 officers.

    Whether Sam Liccardo and Eddie Garcia can continue to produce stagnation and incompetence at these City of Oakland levels is anyone’s guess, but I wouldn’t put it past them.

  4. The Bubble people are having a big meeting tonight in the Willow Glen (post bubble burst era) Im hearing that the citizens are not happy at the skyrocketing rate of property and violence in the Glen. Lots of lawn signs were sprinkled with Measure B and Sam supporters. Its actually quite ironic now isnt it that the crime wave has reached the bubble. Dev Davis, who is no supporter of law enforcement, will be holding this meeting. I can only imagine the lies that will be sliding off of her lips as she looks to her brass for support at the meeting in telling everyone that public safety is their number one priority. The reality is that cops are under fire and the current IPA is gunning for EVERYONE. Yes the numbers as Fin pointed out are significantly lower than a decade ago. This in light of the bolder and more violent criminal. Recipe for disaster for council members such as Dev, Johnny and Sam.

    • When candidate Dev Davis proposed that community service officers (unarmed civilians) be used to provide preventative patrol in San Jose neighborhoods, she revealed what should’ve been a disqualifying level of ignorance about both the CSO program and the tactics involved in burglary suppression (police almost never happen across burglaries in progress; a burglar’s real vulnerability is to the investigative stop). This evidenced both a refusal to do her homework (read up on the CSO program) and a failure to consult the experts (a simple phone call to the chief?). Not exactly what would be expected of a candidate whose alleged priority was public safety. Nonetheless, voters went ahead and selected the ignorant and irresponsible huckster with the smart glasses, thus proving themselves too stupid to look out for their own interests.

    • How we choose to apply law enforcement, how many officers, how many csos, the police budget, etc., all pale in importance to 1) subsidizing and excusing illegal aliens, and 2) subsidizing and encouraging homeless bums to come here and stay.
      As long as our politicians continue to lecture us on the wondrous benefits of diversity and filthy squatters then it doesn’t much matter what they have to say about law enforcement. We’re gonna have plenty of property crime.

  5. Looks like law enforcement has dropped about 58% explanses why crime is you 58% and the neighborhood watch is now reporting criminal activity on an hourly basis. No wonder I’m hearing rumblings of a vigilante committee starting up!
    Now the criminal class is our civic leaders defining common sense and Federal law with their sanctuary crime zone cities.
    Isn’t it great the mayor favors criminal over citizens.

  6. 5th normal form
    A term which best describes the way data has been used to overstate the wellness here.
    a) errors by omission – the many persons who go into custody, who cannot complain as the sheriffs complaint process has been deemed useless
    b) errors by omission – the same persons could not use a county complaint process to report the issues against SJPD two different forms of the justice system which are not integrated nor does one have authority over the other.

    The persons who are most often affected by use of force are those in custody, who cannot complain.

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