POLL: How Much Should the City Pay San Jose Police Officers?

What's the right salary for a job in which men and women could be forced to risk their lives every day they put on a uniform? Is it $90,000? Should it be $125,000? Maybe $150,000? Are we getting warmer?

Public safety and the recruitment and retention of San Jose police officers dominated discussions during the campaign season. Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo has said increasing officer salaries is one of his top priorities. A plan he and Mayor Chuck Reed proposed last year suggests 200 officers can be hired in the next four years.

"The cost of that proposal could reach $50 million," Liccardo wrote on his campaign website. "Within the proposal, Mayor Reed and I identified about $35 million in funding sources for the new hires. We will need to find additional savings or revenues over the next four years to cover the rest."

Despite a reported drop in violent crimes in San Jose, there is no doubt that San Jose is approaching a potential staffing crisis. Earlier this week, the Mercury News reported that SJPD could soon have its lowest number of officers on the job since 1985. Despite the decrease in the ranks, Chief Larry Esquivel wrote an op-ed in October saying violent crimes are down, but with a cost. Other calls for service are being neglected and officers are being overworked.

So, what exactly is the right amount of money to keep these officers in San Jose? And what;s being done to bring new officers to the force? San Jose Inside spoke with Jennifer Schembri, deputy director of employee relations, to get a handle on some raw numbers. Here is some background information she provided:

  • In 2009 2011, the city implemented a 10-percent wage cut across the board for all employees, including police. Officer pay is being restored in increments, with a final 3.3 percent raise occurring in July 2015. That final increase should be "about the same as the 10 percent" that was lost, Schembri said.
  • The average "top-step" salary for a San Jose police officer—this does not include sergeants and lieutenants—is $104,457 in annual base salary, which is higher than San Jose's average household income. The city makes an average medical benefits contribution of $14,265 for these officers. And for these "Tier 1" officers, who were employed by the city before Measure B went into effect, the city makes an average annual retirement contribution of 83.14 percent of their base pay—so about $86,854. These officers also contribute 21.26 percent of their annual salary, before taxes, to their pension plan.
  • A new police officer typically comes in at "Step 1," which offers an average annual base salary of $78,000. The city continues to make an average medical benefits contribution of $14,265 to these officers. For these "Tier 2" officers, who were NOT employed by the city before Measure B went into effect, the city makes an average annual retirement contribution of 21.8 percent of their base pay—so about $17,004. These officers also contribute 20.8 percent of their annual salary, before taxes, to their pension plan. An officer generally moves up a step—there are seven total—each year until they reach "top step."
  • Officers can increase their pay by working on special units, overtime and receiving Peace Officers Standards Training (POST) certification. An intermediate POST certification adds 5 percent to an officer's base salary, and advanced certification bumps that up to a 7.5 percent increase. "The majority of [officers] get their 7.5,” Schembri said.
  • It takes 10 years for an officers benefits to become vested.
  • Admittedly, this doesn't take into account the contentious issue of disability after Measure B was passed.

Looking at those numbers, it's pretty obvious that police pension payouts for "Tier 1" officers were unsustainable. Last spring, the city was claiming it had a $2.9 billion unfunded liability for pension and retiree healthcare costs. Many officers would be making more money in retirement—pension pay tops out at 90 percent after 25 30 years with the department—than they were working the beat.

But nearly everyone seems to agree that the newly formed salary and benefit structure is not competitive with neighboring law enforcement agencies.

Here's where you tell us how much you think the average San Jose police officer should be paid. It's not supposed to be an easy question.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. Josh your numbers are not correct:

    1) In good times the city takes a “pension holiday” from contributing to the pension. This means the city relied on the earnings of the fund to pay what they should have been paying all along. This is where the unfunded liability comes from because the city did not fund it.

    2) When the city was taking their pension holiday the employee was required to continue paying into the fund at the 22+% of his/her gross wages.

    3) An officer does not retire after 25 years with 90% of his/her salary. They must go 30 years and as a patrolman this is virtually impossible to achieve. Why??? Because they get beaten up, broken up etc and are unable to make it the 30 years to get 90%

    Full disclosure: I am a retired San Jose Police Officer. My pension amount is $32K per year.

    • Although you only worked 12.79 years and retired in 1987, that is still tough to live on considering the high cost of living. People have this illusion that city retirees make a huge pile of money upon retirement, but if you subtract what one would recieve in social security from there pension amount, it is not all that glamorous. Unfortunately, San Jose’s police department has seen lots of great officers leave. I remember as a kid, SJPD being the best and always available no matter what the call. I am afraid if I need SJPD now, they may not come because of staffing shortages.

  2. I can’t answer any of your poll questions Josh, and here’s why.

    No matter where you start in the SJPD, you’re considered an “Officer”. Should a crime lab tech get paid the same as a beat cop? Should any “non-hazard” SJPD job get paid the same?

    I think not….

    I think top tier pay and benefits should only go to those that are truly putting their lives on the line.

    • I agree with you to some extend. But there are different stress of the job. I have been a street cop for 18 years and seen and been into some horrible stuff, but do I deserve to make more that a Sexual Assault Detective that has to deal with countless victims of sexual abuse and watch videos of children’s being abuse?……I think not.

        • Everyone rotates, you can only do 3 years in a unit (a couple of units can stay a year or two longer due to expertise needed) but eventually all officers, sergeants, Lt’s, etc rotate back to patrol. Get promoted, back to patrol.

          “Officers can increase their pay by working on special units” yes but very few officers get into these specialized units and again only for a limited time. so this is misleading. A lot of officers work side jobs to supplement there poor pay and increased pension payments from their regular salary.

  3. I’m a SJ cop. I’m 54. I’m retiring next year with only 20 years of service. Why? Because I do not want to stay working, in a politically toxic environment anymore. I would have stayed maybe 5 more years. But with Liccardo as Mayor, Measure B looming and no disability retirement coverage – I ‘m done. I will only end up with 50% of my retirement. $58,206 annually. And that’s calculated from a 2010 year salary. So I’m going to be 5 years behind in salary when I go. Nothing you can do will keep me. I’ve had enough. My last day is Saturday May 23rd 2015. And it can’t come soon enough..

    • Thank you for your service and I don’t blame you at all. As a matter of fact, I’d love to leave the City of San Jose myself…it no longer feels like home or a place I want to raise a family. Good luck to you.

    • Thank You & God Bless You, for your service and honesty!
      As a 5fth-Generation Californian, IN MY OPINION I believe that FORMER Mayor Greed (and the Sicilian Locardo) do not represent approximately 50f% of the community. IN MY OPINION, they BOTH want to LINE THE POCKETS of their failed private LAW FIRM BUDDIES … as well as steering million to their rich friends in back-door land deals. THE FISH HAS ROTTED FROM THE HEAD DOWN!

      ~ All Great Leaders – Military & Government – MUST BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER!
      In My Opinion – Reed & Licardo have DESTROYED THE CITY OF SJ for the next decade or more, with their all-consuming-war on all public sector institutions!

  4. It seems to me that the real question is not how much an officer should or should not be payed. Rather, the question should be more to do with the degree to which San Jose can compete with other agencies. And, even if San Jose was more competitive than it presently is, that may not be enough, considering how poisoned the well of trust is between SJPD (really, all levels of staff, from clerks to sworn officers, to dispatchers, etc..) and City Hall. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to remove that taint, particularly so long as LIccardo, Khamis, and those who ally themselves with those two remain in City Hall.

  5. I watched the city council meeting yesterday, where the chief and his staff discussed staffing and retention. I was stunned that he reported 3-4 officers are leaving the SJPD each month on average. For the past 3 years, this number has been about 120 officers leaving per year, and this number is on track for the current year. There are at least 10 officers leaving each month. I was flabbergasted when I heard Johny Khamis and Pierluigi Oliverio suggest the hiring standards at SJPD are too high, and should be relaxed. Good for DC Knopf for standing up to these buffoons and tell them the SJPD would not lower the hiring standards for the sake of numbers. Only Ash Kalra and Don Rocha seem to understand the gravity of the dire staffing crisis at the SJPD, and basically asked the Chief why he did not seem to view the situation with more urgency. Thanks to Ash Kalra for questioning the under reporting of officers leaving each month, and to Chief Ngo for standing up to Sam Liccardo, who was beating the drum of crime is down, while Chief Ngo held his ground that it is more likely crime is under reported, especially in the hardest hit communities, because they have lost faith in officers being able to respond. Sam, you better take some action quickly, as many more officers are on the verge of leaving for other police departments.

    • Khamis=Duhhhh. I felt embarrassed FOR him. I can imagine what must have been going through the other council members’ minds, as well as the police panel. The officer who was answering his question looked like he was in disbelief at the ridiculous waste of everyone’s time. I guess he just had to come up with something to say, no matter how petty and insignificant.

      • I completely agree with you. His questions and comments were beyond ridiculous, and he is a very poor public speaker to boot.

    • I’m curious exactly which standard(s) Khamis and PLO think are too high and how low do you set the bar? The council’s version of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne have no idea what they’re suggesting.

      PLO, care to comment? I know you’re out there.

      • > I’m curious exactly which standard(s) Khamis and PLO think are too high and how low do you set the bar?

        Well, list the standards for being a SJ Police Officer, and I’m sure many helpful commentators will point out which standards are too high.

        A number of years back, the San Francisco Fire Department had standards which allegedly kept it from hiring women. A judged helpfully invited the SFFD to adjust it’s standards and — voila — many more women candidates qualified for SFFD. And, San Francisco hasn’t burned down yet.

        Any grownup who pays any attention to local politics knows that the “ins” always try to wire the system to keep the “outs” out of their sandbox.

        • Bubble,

          Are you alleging that there is some grand conspiracy being employed by SJPD to keep a specific group or even groups from being considered for employment?

          That’s cute and all, however the standards have remained the same for at least the past decade and probably longer. Even with the current standards people are getting hired who probably shouldn’t. What’s even worse is they’re passing the academy and Field Training, and being allowed to work on their own.

          Most people with a functioning brain (Johnny Khamis not included) can tell you that filling patrol cars with warm bodies is not a viable solution to this mess.

          • > Are you alleging that there is some grand conspiracy being employed by SJPD to keep a specific group or even groups from being considered for employment?

            Did the SFFD have “some grand conspiracy … to keep a specific group or even groups from being considered for employment?”

            Is the SFPD — with or without the collusion of the SJPOA — capable of such a “grand conspiracy”?

            Draw your own conclusion.

          • > Which ones do you feel are set too high?

            Well, for starters, here is a very subjective, open-ended “qualification” which could exclude just about anyone:

            STEP #5 Oral Board Exam:

            The Oral Board Exam is a panel interview of five to eight questions not necessarily police related. Applicants who successfully complete the Oral Board Exam will be placed on an eligibility list for the Background Inquiry Process. Those selected to the Background Inquiry Process will be notified approximately two to three weeks after the last Oral Board Exam of the testing cycle.

            For those moving forward will then begin the Background Inquiry Process.

          • Hi bubble head, the oral board is comprised of 3 people, one being an officer, and the other 2 community members, you dope.

          • The Oral Board interview is a part of the hiring process and is little different from the kind of interview in which a prospective hire would participate in the private sector. Or, would you prefer that the only extended face-to-face contact a prospective recruit have during the hiring process be with the outside contractor who conducts the polygraph tests?

    • Lowering standards is the worst fix and the quickest way to destroy the integrity and effectiveness of any organization, particularly a police department where public trust, built on the integrity of every single officer, is imperative and vital. Hiring even one substandard cop or group of cops lowers the effectiveness, the image of, and the public trust in the entire department. Two cops exposed for corruption does not prompt the public to just point to those two individuals and say “Look at those two corrupt individuals”. Instead, it not only stains the reputation of and public trust in that entire police department but in the police profession in general. If you doubt this, read some of the previous posts and commentary that have appeared in various news articles and even in these forums.

      The lowering of hiring standards results in a lesser quality officer, one who makes poorer decisions, and poorer stops and poorer arrests which results in more cases being thrown out and criminals set free and more lawsuits and corruption. The lowering of hiring standards, due to certain political pressures (too lengthy and revolting to detail here) lead to one of the worst police corruption scandals in US history: The LAPD “Rampart Scandal” in the 1990’s.

      In a massive, detailed 2000 study of the effects of lower hiring standards on police departments, economist John Lott found that lowering hiring standards for a police agency, indeed, results in less-qualified officers . The lower the quality of officers is, the higher the rates of murder, manslaughter, violent crime, robbery and aggravated assault will become. In the sample he examined, Lott found that violent crime increased by a minimum of 3.3 percent every year after standards were lowered

      The thought that anyone at City Hall would ever even consider lowering hiring standards as a means of solving the police staffing crisis sickens me. If they want to stop the SJPD attrition rate and maintain the quality of police services that the people of San Jose deserve and have historically had, then provide competitive wages and benefits.

      If City Hall prefers to end up as the focus of the next Rampart Scandal or as the backdrop for the sequel to “Training Day”, then lower the police hiring standards, pass another ballot Measure, tout yourself as a reformer, and just blame the officers when there are (Reed) bars on all the windows of every house and a junk yard dog on every porch.

      • > In a massive, detailed 2000 study of the effects of lower hiring standards on police departments, economist John Lott found that lowering hiring standards for a police agency, indeed, results in less-qualified officers .

        Lott is a credible source, and there is no argument that higher hiring standards are better than lower standards.

        That being said, the City and the entire U.S. economy would like to have the highest possible hiring standards for every job in the economy: police officers, rocket scientists, brain surgeons, airline pilots, lawyers, politicians.

        As every grownup who has ever managed personnel will tell you: THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE.

        We could rollup the hiring standards for rocket scientist, brain surgeon, airline pilot, lawyer, politician, social worker, and MMA wrestler into one super hiring standard for cops, and we would have REALLY WELL QUALIFIED COPS.

        But we wouldn’t have very many of them, they would be very expensive, and the one percenters who like having competent brain surgeons and airline pilots just might offer higher salaries and steal them away.

        Bottom line: hiring standards are a TRADE OFF between competence, cost, and available numbers.

        Everyone knows this.

        Everyone, that is, except the SJPOA who are so self-centered as to think the only issue that society has to deal with is making sure that the SJPD is happy with their pay and benefits.

        • You are a moron of epic proportion. You know nothing of the SJPOA, or the wonderful and dedicated women and men of the SJPD. You are a little fool, hiding behind the safety of a keyboard. Come on out and do the job, then tell us how greedy the officers are.

        • Mr. SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE, sir,

          I am assuming that you are trying to make an intelligent, meaningful comment and not simply entertaining yourself by being a provocateur. If the former, it is difficult to take you seriously and if the latter, while mildly droll, I’m sure you could do better.

          Each job and every occupation has a certain set of qualifications that are necessary and that an individual should possess in order to succeed in that occupation and contribute to the goals defined by their employer. A rocket scientist would need to be an expert in physics and mathematics, while a police officer would not. The police officer would need to be proficient in the use of firearms and in handcuffing a violent suspect, while such things would be completely unnecessary for our scientist.

          There is no single, one size fits all, “super hiring standard”, as you mentioned, and this every “grownup” (to use your term) would know. The “super hiring standard”, which is a concept more appropriate for a comic book than an intelligent dialogue, would not result in “Really well qualified cops”, it would result in an exciting super hero but probably an over-qualified everything else.

          Hiring standards do not necessarily have to be, as you said, a “trade off between competence, cost and available numbers”. An employer needs to define the job, set the appropriate qualifications, and then offer wages and benefits sufficient to attract the required numbers of competent, quality personnel. Every other police agency, except San Jose, currently seems able to do this and because of this, these other agencies are siphoning off the talent from SJPD. This certainly does not make the SJPOA happy and lowering the standards and reducing the quality of personnel and the resultant inferior service delivery, won’t make anyone, maybe not even you, happy.

          • > Hiring standards do not necessarily have to be, as you said, a “trade off between competence, cost and available numbers”.

            Yes. They do.

            Not every NFL team can hire Peyton Manning for $25 million or whatever.

            Every team can specify the qualifications as “be Peyton Manning” and budget $25 million.

            But 31 teams will be unable to hire a quarterback.

            If the other teams reduce the qualifications, a lot of teams will be able to hire lesser quarterbacks for $24 million.

            This really isn’t arguable. It’s called “price elasticity”.

            I’m just being patient. But the price of patience is being called a “moron” by lesser bloggers like . . . obser******n.

          • Mr. SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE, sir,

            No one is a moron, I think Observation just feels passionate about this topic of conversation and he is just getting frustrated. My guess is he may be closer to and more affected by the problem discussed than are you and I. I extend an invitation to all who wish to direct as many ad hominem insults to me as they would like. I ask only that you direct them specifically at me only (not my friends or pets); keep the insults to a maximum of 1 or 2 sentences, and try to be creative. I find mindless profanity tedious and boring. Insults received in languages other than English or Spanish (I speak both) are acceptable so long as they sound insulting when pronounced in English. Foreign words with multiple harsh consonants seem to work best in this regard.

            I do not believe that your sports analogy is valid. You are assuming there is only one Peyton Manning, that a team only needs one quarterback, that all teams have about the same amount of money, managed in the same way, and that a team has only enough money available to hire Peyton Manning and no other quarterback. If instead of a job announcement that says, “Be Peyton Manning”, the job announcement asks that all applicants have the ability to run 100 meters in under 12 seconds, throw a football at least 50 yards (or more, I’m not a football fan), jump a fence and tackle a parolee, calm an irate fan down and prevent him from running onto the field and do so without hurting his feelings or offending him, and pass an extensive background check, then that team will likely get numerous qualified quarterback applicants.

            If there are 30 Peyton Mannings and the team that hires them agrees to pay them $24 million but then after they are hired, the team owner claims he is broke and cuts the 30 Peyton Mannings’ pay by 10% and reduces their medical benefits, then when another team comes along that can pay $24 million plus 10 cents, all the Peyton Mannings are going to go to that team and soon the “home team” will start losing all their talent, every game, and that team will go from being the #1 safest big city team in the US to being only the #5 safest big city team in the US. It’s not called “price elasticity”, it’s called cause and effect, and human nature. One might ask, “I wonder why all those other teams are able to hire all those quarterbacks and our home team cannot? Hmm, maybe the team owner and the head coach might know, but probably won’t admit it.

            It is not just about money either. A police department is staffed by officers who operate on loyalty, respect, and trust directed toward each other and toward a common purpose. Once officers no longer believe that their leadership trusts, respects or has any loyalty to them, they can no longer effectively accomplish their public safety mission and they will go somewhere else where they can. That’s the part that I believe “really isn’t arguable”.

        • Your ignorance in this issue shines with the fierce intensity of a thousand burning suns. The POA does not set the requirements/standards for police officers. Those qualifications/standards are set by the city within compliance of state law. Do you have evidence to suggest the POA is involved in setting standards? Do you have evidence the POA is involved in the hiring process at all?

  6. The elephant in the room of every discussion of SJPD compensation is the 2008 mortgage meltdown, the crisis created by the combined evils of Wall Street and the nation’s capital and the root cause of the current pension liability.

    Had a modern day Abraham Zapruder filmed the path of the police/fire pension during the first decade of this century the opening frames would’ve revealed a fund in robust health, flush enough not only to pay off every last dime of its obligations, but to also allow then-mayor Gonzales to use it to buy the political support of fund members (buying them with their own money). These frames would’ve been followed by some ups and downs (the dotcom bust) right up until 2008, when a series of shots rang out, not from a book depository in Dallas, but from the most powerful institutions on Wall Street. The film would capture the panic and confusion, the foreclosed homes and disillusioned investors, with the last frames dominated by the unsightly image of Chuck Reed, running about screaming of bankruptcy and pointing his finger at greedy employees.

    Except there was no bankruptcy and no greedy employees; just a devious politician and the lie he concocted to dupe voters and newspeople alike. As example, Josh Koehn writes:

    “…the city makes an average annual retirement contribution of 83.14 percent of their base pay—so about $86,854. These officers also contribute 21.26 percent of their annual salary, before taxes, to their pension plan.”

    Absent the context a responsible, objective report would contain a reader is left to wrongly assume Koehn’s figures are representative of the contribution rates typical to the fifty year old pension fund. But they are anything but that. What they are is representative of the aftermath of two calamities, the first being the mortgage meltdown (which resulted in an unprecedented hit on the fund), the second being the accelerated retirements that resulted from Mayor Reed’s reckless and unlawful assault on the pension system (hundreds of employees retiring early and transitioning from fund contributors to fund recipients).

    If you chart the historical highs and lows of city contribution you wind up with a high of $87K (the current figure) and a low of ZERO (representative of the years the city paid nothing due to positive market performance). What this tells you is that there is no nexus between contribution amounts and employee compensation. Actual compensation rates do not change based on the city’s pension obligation. Where the nexus does exist is between those contributions and fund performance.

    Think of it this way: your variable mortgage rate goes up from 6% to 8%, resulting in a house payment increase of $500. Would this fact convince you that you live in a nicer house? Of course not, but Mayor Reed, Sam Liccardo, the Mercury News, and now Josh Koehn would tell you different. Why? They all have their own reasons, and all those reasons are revealing and ugly.

    The only unwavering connection between the pension fund and compensation is the employee’s contribution, which is due rain or shine, and which is currently at an all-time high through no fault of the employees themselves. They too, like the city, must pony up to pay for the mistakes of progressive politicians and ruthless bankers, only they get to pay the penalty while risking their lives and enduring lies and insults.

    • FrustratedFinFan,

      You 10 X’d the center out of the target.

      The number of contributors turned recipients within the last 5 years, and the resulting impact on the fund should be made public.

      Josh Koehn,

      To FinFan’s point, you really should dig a little further and add a follow up to this piece. Your follow up should contain both 20 years of the City’s historical pension contribution (for police only) and the 10 year projection for the City’s pension contribution (also police only). Added to this should be a concurrent “sworn staffing” measure to demonstrate the impact of staffing levels on the City’s contribution rate.

    • It must be frustrating for a paid, professional “investigative” journalist to be corrected for their obvious mistakes… By a commenter. Every week.

      Apparently local media needs to pay their staff better too, in order to attract better applicants.

      • They are so agenda driven and arrogant that believe any criticism or correction of the facts as they present them is a validation and affirmation of their version….

        We might give Koehn a pat on that back for correcting the record by striking out the number “25” and inserting “30” as the correct number of years a police officer or fire fighter must work to earn a 90% (of base pay not total compensation).

        Great job? Not at all…considering how many times SJI/Metro/Merc have repeated the OUTRIGHT LIE of “90% at age 50” so that it is seared inot the minds of readers in the face of so many posters who have done everything we can to try and explain the realities of pension benefits…. all I can say to Koehn is that “IT IS ABOUT FREAKING TIME ONE OF YOU CORRECTED YOURSELF” … on an easily verified fact….

  7. One way to decouple California cities from the pension problem would be for the State of CA to make public safety officers (police and fire) exempt from state taxes. Brown could probably pull it off politically.
    One more thing….start transitioning to a joint service like that of the City of Sunnyvale. All new hires would be trained in both disciplines.

  8. Jack Slade Here,
    The man who knows where every body is hidden! Debate my facts or don’t cowardly email me fools.

    I have heard it all. Why did 70% of the voting public vote to ” Cripple” the SJPD three times. Now even those who could vote from their couch by mail didn’t lift a hand to help. How hard is it to put your mail ballot on the mail box? I’ll tell you!

    People watch you threaten and bully people who happen to be 72% of the populace. Taking away cell phones that record your conduct. Putting a SLPD spy in the IPA’s office with an employee link to IA. Obstruction of Justice to where many of SJPD can’t testify in front of many Judges. Now hiding your inside criminal behavior until someone has to rat you out on a plea deal is not transparency. Hiding behind one rule after another so no one can identify you or check on the status of their complaints. Hiding in the shadow of Copely v. San Diego and the Peace Officer Bill of Rights is no way to win support. Your fellow officers, if that is what you can even come close to calling them, are losers for their conduct and all those who have kept quiet are losers also. The faster you all leave the faster a new SJPD can be started with tight military discipline and rapid prosecution for criminal acts. Rape, Child Molestation, Falsifying Evidence, Time Card Fraud, School District Time Card Fraud, Embezzlement from the Latino Officers Fund, Working 50 hours with the Forty-Niners when you have a City work week of 40 hours and plenty of questionable Overtime, Hidden DUI’s using a helicopter pick up to avoid prosecution, recorded repeated drug use, using your uniform on duty for a Doctor’s practice, making a male on male porno, Shooting a child, killing of Spouses, getting Judges to sign warrants based on lies, shooting an unconscious drunk 22 times costing us $5,000,000.00 last month, Killing a man in his bed because a gun ran down a hall and jumped into bed with him $900,000.00, Two killings of woman old and mentally ill who posed no “Real Threat” , picking a fight with an upstanding Mexican couple and shooting off her husbands nose,killing a man for smoking in the “No Smoking” area of STARBUCKS, 53 more brutality suits pending worth $50,000,000.00 more then the City’s cop budget still needed.

    Now I have 76 more criminal acts but to list them will reveal my sources so be content with the above. SJPD is like JUDAs claiming his pouch of silver is from the Lotto. Liccardo is preparing to drive all of you out and slowly building a Educated (not $15,000 of taxpayers money for 4 hours on Friday, a resume of life’s experiences, nights in the cafeteria for 18 month degrees), emotionally balanced and psychiatrically sound, well trained, disciplined, well lead and well supervised. Let’s get rid of all these people who hide each other’s crimes because they all have something on each other. Just look at your top Administrators taking thousands of dollars in tickets from the 49ers and guess who didn’t get charged for beating his pregnant girlfriend??????????????????? Cisco and Poncho are running a Department of men and woman with no integrity and many have a gender identification neurosis. Just the kind of stability you should start out with.


    • Nate,

      I often enjoy some of your postings but you lost me on this one. I’m not perfect myself but please try to spend a bit more time editing and proofreading. This post almost sounds like Brother Theodore, my friend.

      • Jim Lymen here

        There are many people who leave comments using this twitter account. Each has access and just so you’ll know Nate Jaeger has never posted one but gets the same chuckle you get when from time to time he sees one. His only comment to me is “That department is lost”

  9. I believe the survey is flawed & I attended the arbitration hearings to better understand SJ’s approach.
    1. As another posted, what does the competitive landscape look like? SJ’s Director of Finance indicated SJ tries to be at the midpoint of its “benchmark” group of cities.
    2. The ‘devil’s in the details’. Unless the midpoint aligns with the mean, the “average salary” doesn’t provide a great deal of insight. A more useful comparison is how our compensation tiers compare – not the population mean.
    3. Most troubling for me are lack of exit interviews. SJ’s HR dept tells me they don’t have any data from SJPD as to why employees leave. FWIW, in private industry, most employees leave for reasons other than compensation.

    Shouldn’t we understand why valued SJPD employees leave before we focus on salaries? And if we don’t, then there’s the real risk of “golden handcuffs” – employees paid so handsomely that they stay only for the paycheck.

  10. MR. OBSERVATION thoughtfully and kindly contributed:

    > Hi bubble head, the oral board is comprised of 3 people, one being an officer, and the other 2 community members, you dope.

    Well, Mr. Observation, is an oral board “subjective” or “objective”, and do you know the difference?

    • Any oral interview that is part of a hiring process is obviously subjective, so f’ing what? What a ridiculous question from a keyboard cowboy. Go through the process and do the job, or do you know the difference between being a keyboard cowboy versus somebody who puts their life on the line each day?

      • > Any oral interview that is part of a hiring process is obviously subjective, so f’ing what?

        The interviewers could simply adjust the “grading scale” downward, award higher grades, pass more candidates, and — at the end of the day — have more cops.

        Please, no more SJPOA baloney about how cops need more salary and benefits because they are so special and so hard to hire.

        The hiring process is a charade, and the politicians and the SJPOA are just fighting over how many candidates ought to be “allowed” to pass.

        • You are such a pathetic fool to suggest adjusting the grading scale downward for the sake of quantity over quality.

          • > You are such a pathetic fool to suggest adjusting the grading scale downward for the sake of quantity over quality.

            Would it redeem my standing in your opinion if I advocated for HIGHER standards for SJ Police officers?

            Depending on how high we raised the qualification, we might have to disqualify a lot of current SJPD officers.

            But we want quality right? Cost be damned.

    • bubble head until you get your facts straight time to go back underground and wait for ground hog day. Your posts make me want to go to sleep.

  11. What is the point of asking what an SJPD or any other CSJ public employee should be paid? That is entirely meaningless. Might as well ask what a CSJ councilmember should be paid while you’re at it.

    The better questions to ask should be directed to the City, and that is have they benchmarked employee salaries AND pension costs against any agency in the Bay Area and if so, what were the results? Why are City of San Jose salaries lower when compared to those agencies? Why are the City’s pension cost so much more than those of neighboring Cities and agencies? Reed and the Merc have stated as much that San Jose has among the highest pension costs in the Country. Why and how is that? It’s a question that demands to be asked.

    What is San Jose’s revenue per capita when compared to other Santa Clara County cities? (hint, it is near the bottom). And why is that, why does every other city in Santa Clara County have much better and more stable revenue streams? What has SJ done to correct that in the last 8 years? What effect has the dissolution of the RDA had on the City’s budget? Have any RDA costs been hitting any Fund of the City’s budget since the RDA was shutdown in 2011?

    Good to see that PD will be getting the rest of their 10% pay restored to them soon enough, only now they, and other City employees are 4 years behind their peers in local cities.

  12. Councilmember Khamis wonders if SJPD’s employment requirements are too high. One need only look at several members of the City Council to realize that it’s requirements are not too high.


    > You are assuming there is only one Peyton Manning,

    Yes, I am. And it’s true.

    > [You are assuming ] that a team only needs one quarterback, that all teams have about the same amount of money, managed in the same way, and that a team has only enough money available to hire Peyton Manning and no other quarterback.

    No. And this is your fundamental problem. You are imposing artificial rules and constraints that all add up to: “The City has to hire only the officers that the SJPOA wants to be hired, has to define their qualifications only as the SJPOA wants them defined, and has to provide only pay and benefits that are acceptable to the SJPOA.”

    The SJPOA believes that it is or ought to be a monopoly and is mad that the world around them is not respectful of their monopoly thinking.

    > I do not believe that your sports analogy is valid.

    All analogies have their limits.

    > One might ask, “I wonder why all those other teams are able to hire all those quarterbacks and our home team cannot?

    All teams ARE able to hire quarterbacks. THAT’S THE POINT.

    You are arguing that they have to write the job qualifications for Peyton Manning, and then pay everyone as if they are Peyton Manning, and then PRETEND that all quarterbacks play like Peyton Manning.

    Some teams can choose to lower the qualifications for quarterback (“we don’t need a running quarterback; passing is good enough”), increase the pool of qualified candidates, offer lower salaries, and hire better offensive linemen.


    > It is not just about money either.

    If the City of San Jose, agreed to pay the price that the SJPOA demands, all problems would go away.

    For the SJPOA (but maybe not all officers) IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

  14. Public Records Troublemaker,

    There is as much mystery about why SJPD officers are leaving as there is about why occupants flee a burning house. In both cases, the sudden departures are based on a radical change in circumstances. At the PD the radical change was caused by a drastic reduction in take-home pay, an assault on the pension system, and the Mayor’s insulting accusations and declared willingness to lay-off additional workers. The change in a burning home is, of course, the result of fire, which although terrifying and destructive, cannot be said to be corrupt and dishonorable, which most definitely can be said about Mayor Chuck Reed of Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo.

    Just as people don’t flee from perfectly livable homes, so too was it for decades that SJPD officers stayed put. Despite never topping the salary list of Bay Area agencies SJPD was a destination department, a magnet for experienced cops, many of whom left departments that were very good but served cities that were just not big enough to offer the breadth of depravity to sufficiently challenge aggressive cops (big city police departments that maintain high standards are as rare as honest politicians). Of course I’m not suggesting that no one ever left, but only to make the point that, other than a few who went to the FBI (and later came back), no one left SJPD thinking they were stepping-up to a better department.

    The current lack of exit interviews is not surprising, in fact, it is consistent with the reality blackout that became the hallmark of the Chuck Reed administration. What those interviews would’ve shown is that every time the mayor shot off his mouth about more takeaways or another round of layoffs, dozens more SJPD officers began to look elsewhere, this, long before Measure B ever made it to the voters. And every time the POA leadership called attention to the cause and effect relationship between the Mayor’s reckless behavior and the employee exodus, the mayor and a complicit media would spin the facts and blame everything on the POA.

    I have to wonder that anyone would even question the reasons behind the exodus. Certainly, no one with a triple-digit IQ would ever believe Mayor Reed’s contention that employees are uprooting their families and heading off to new agencies in response to a disinformation campaign by the POA. First of all, cops are naturally skeptical and not easily duped, and second, none of the information put out by the POA has ever been discredited (while virtually everything coming from the Reed/Liccardo camp has). Compensation and job security, the two job attributes most coveted by working people everywhere, are exactly the attributes Mayor Reed destroyed. SJ cops have no any idea the direction of their salaries: they don’t know if they’ll be able to make their house payments in 2016 or if increased deductions (that now loom) will send them into foreclosure. They don’t know what will happen to them if they are injured (other than that Mayor Reed will view them as fakers), overtime demands threaten their health and home life, their pensions are up in the air, they have no confidence that any contract they sign will be honored in the future, and no guarantee that, when they call for help, there will be anyone to answer.

    Not really much of a mystery, huh?

  15. > First of all, . . . . none of the information put out by the POA has ever been discredited (while virtually everything coming from the Reed/Liccardo camp has).


    The San Jose community relies on cops to write reports that can be introduced into court proceedings as “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

    Over the course of the recent expensive, high-decibel, and divisive election campaign, the pronouncements POA supporters and partisans have really called into question their grip on reality.

    My guess is that if Reed or Liccardo (or Pierluigi) were ever involved in a court proceeding where SJ police reports were material, the case would be dismissed for bias faster than you can say “breadth of depravity”.

  16. Bubbleboy,

    Are you a scumbag or was it accidental that you took my words, “information put out by the POA” and then challenged it by referring to “the pronouncements of POA supporters and partisans,” words I never used (and would never, as they are so vague as to be indefensible).

    Here’s a direct challenge to you: cite an instance in which information put out by the POA was discredited.

    I stand ready to be educated — about something I missed or the credibility you lack.

  17. > Here’s a direct challenge to you: cite an instance in which information put out by the POA was discredited.


    Post all the records of the POA and information released to the public and expected to be relied on by the public and I’ll start going through it.

    I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with something.

    I suspect I’ll find somewhere that the POA has asserted that Sam Liccardo is an awful person and should not be elected mayor.

    Liccardo was elected mayor. I would call any such POA assertion as “discredited”.

  18. BubbleBoy,

    Just as I thought. You’ve got nothing, except perhaps a paltry paycheck from one or more elected liars to come here and argue against the very ugly reality created by the likes of Chuck Reed and Sam Liccardo. Your pathetic attempt to dodge my direct challenge won’t fool anyone. Tasking me with chasing down press releases and ad copy so that you might have a chance to find a sliver of the deception that you’ve long insisted exists in abundance is nothing more than a scoundrel’s desperate ploy. Anyone in San Jose with half a brain knows that if there was anything amiss to be found in the POA files it would’ve already found its way to the headlines of the Mercury News.

    Your contributions on this site bother me in much the same way as do the extemporaneous comments typical of Sam Liccardo, as they convince me that it is much more than blind ambition and poor character that threatens this city, it is something far worse, it is another dose of old-fashioned stupidity.

    • > Your pathetic attempt to dodge my direct challenge won’t fool anyone.

      Curses! Foiled again.

      > Your contributions on this site bother me in much the same way as do the extemporaneous comments typical of Sam Liccardo, as they convince me that it is much more than blind ambition and poor character that threatens this city, it is something far worse, it is another dose of old-fashioned stupidity.

      Uh-oh. It’s probably not good for your reputation for anyone to know that you’ve talked to me.

      We don’t know each other.

      And for the record, I don’t know Sam Liccardo, and Sam Liccardo doesn’t know me either.


        Wow. After reading and analyzing the exchange between FINFAN and you, I must unavoidably admit that I have not seen a mismatch like this since the Foreman vs. Frazier fight. Foreman was just too big and just too powerful. He kept knocking Frazier down and each time Frazier would try get up, he would just get pounded down again. It was a painful thing to watch.

        When a person in a debate, as you have done here and previously in other posts, resorts to pulling quotes out of context from his opponent’s arguments and then tries to refute these pull quotes individually rather than responding to his opponent’s ideas, concepts and the entire argument, it is usually because the responding person lacks an idea or a logical argument with which to otherwise counter. I’m afraid that is what is happening in your exchange here with FINFAN. His reasoning is logical, well articulated and his arguments are just too powerful.

        I admire you for your continued attempts to respond back but please, for your own sake, the next time FINFAN knocks you to the (rhetorical) canvas, stay down.

        • > Wow. After reading and analyzing the exchange between FINFAN and you, I must unavoidably admit that I have not seen a mismatch like this since the Foreman vs. Frazier fight. Foreman was just too big and just too powerful.

          This sound’s like the left’s strategy for winning the Viet Nam War: “Declare victory and go home”.

          By the way, what are public school text books teaching about Viet Nam today?

          Did we win or lose?

    • FINFAN wrote:”Anyone in San Jose with half a brain knows that if there was anything amiss to be found in the POA files it would’ve already found its way to the headlines of the Mercury News. ” Seriously? The Murky News’s investigative abilities are sever notches below that of Inspector Clouseau.

      • While JMO’s comments are, in general, correct with respect to the investigative skills of Murky New’s reporters, their staff seems to pull out all the stops if there is any way, whatsoever, by which the credibility, veracity, or professionalism of individual officers – or the SJPD as a whole – may be impugned. It is that dedication to tearing down the PD and/or POA by whatever means possible (real or imagined slights) to which FINFAN refers.

  19. JMO’C,

    Far be it for me to assign competence of any sort to the Merc… my comment was in the context of BubbleBoy’s challenge regarding “records released to the public.”

  20. > Or, would you prefer that the only extended face-to-face contact a prospective recruit have during the hiring process be with the outside contractor who conducts the polygraph tests?


    You ask me a question, I’ll ask you a question.

    Would you prefer the hiring process to be:

    A.) more subjective and less objective, or
    B.) less subjective and more objective, or
    C.) the hiring process is just fine as it is.

    If the hiring process were different today, would YOU have been hired?

    Are there ANY current officers who would NOT have been hired if the process were different today?

    Does the nature of the hiring process affect the NUMBER of officers deemed qualified to be hired?

    I’ll give you a hint: The answer is “HELL YES”.

    And this is the simple, clear, in your face reality that some of the nitwits at the SJPOA are trying to deny.

    In a way, this question is an intelligence test for hiring police officers. The SJPOA members who DON’T believe the hiring process affects the NUMBER of qualified cops hired are TOO DUMB to be cops.

    • I love how you try to get a response from people in the know, trying to piss them off. While you just post BS. I am not asking you a question, I really hope you are a citizen of SJ and enjoy your future. in this city.

      If you are man enough, tell me if you are citizen of San Jose, a legal citizen, voted in the last election, and that you are not a felon who is not allowed to vote.

      Be like Chuck and Sam, how about some TRANSPARENCY!


    I had no idea that you had such a deep understanding of the SJPD hiring process. I was assigned up there myself for 2 rotations and I don’t remember seeing you there.

    The testing and hiring process has very little to do with the number of officers hired, or that could or would be hired. The fact that Measure B provides SJPD officers with the worst pay and benefits of any major department in the state is exactly what the problem is. All these other agencies that are siphoning off all the experienced, trained, and qualified officers are able to offer a competitive wage and benefits. Why is it that San Jose refuses to do the same?

    You keep trying to apply “business model” economics to the situation. This is major mistake. Police work is not a business. The police do not provide a service that anyone wants (ask any arrestee), and they don’t encourage repeat business. They succeed by driving business (crime rate) down and the customer is always wrong. Exercising initiative or discretionary effort increases risk and creates more work (try writing a 5-10 page arrest report with one eye swollen shut sometime) and for the extra work they get no extra pay, commission or bonus.

    The City leadership through all its efforts, maneuvering, and rhetoric has clearly shown that they cannot be trusted and have no loyalty or respect for their public safety employees. While cops might work for someone who doesn’t respect them, officers will not work for or with someone who has proven to be untrustworthy and disloyal, as Reed and his willing lapdog Liccardo, have proven to be. After the City leadership has demonstrated their true treacherous nature, SJPD officers would likely leave on that basis alone, even if wages and benefits were not as bad as they currently are. If you think otherwise, you have been duped by the media and Hollywood.

    The reasons you vilify the SJPOA seem odd to me. The SJPOA is not some left wing corrupt labor Union full of socialist thugs and run by Boss Tweed or Jimmy Hoffa, as you seem to imply. The SJPOA consists of active and retired police officers who work for, or retired from, SJPD. There are no hired Union thugs. An officer does not even have to join the POA if he or she chooses not to but most do because membership provides legal defense fund benefits as well as other small benefits that don’t cost the taxpayer a single dime. In fact, the SJPOA is a significant contributor to several local and statewide (non-political) charities.

    The SJPOA is run about as close to a true Athenian democracy as it is practical to be. All SJPOA offices are filled by active SJPD officers, even of various ranks, who are nominated and elected by majority vote of the membership. ANY decision made by the SJPOA president or any of the other elected representatives can be addressed at meetings and ANY member can call for a vote (it only takes a simple majority) to overturn ANY decision made by the President or the SJPOA Board members.

    You would do well to let go of your “On the Waterfront” mentality and before you demonize the SJPOA, at least try to know what you are talking about. No wonder FINFAN is wiping the (rhetorical) floor with you here. I believe you can do better.

  22. BubbleBoy seems to be working overtime making a fool of himself. Upon review of his comments on hiring qualifications I can hardly imagine his making more obvious his absolute ignorance about the issue.

    Any contrarian, no matter how dull-witted, could, if undeterred by fear of embarrassment, raise a challenge to the qualifications used in a given hiring process. For example, BubbleBoy’s challenge of the oral interview component, which appears to be based upon nothing other than its subjective nature (and his suspicion that it is manipulated by the dastardly POA), only makes sense if one considers subjective assessment synonymous with unfair, and therefore indefensible. But subjective assessment, which can be unfair (ask any wallflower at a party), is oftentimes the only method available, and in police hiring, its use is indispensable.

    The purpose of the oral interview is to rank applicants for their ability to think on their feet, communicate effectively, and demonstrate an acceptable grasp of professional ethics. These abilities, each one objectively relevant to the requirements of the position, defy objective measurement, as do many other human qualities. Sixty years ago the interview panel might’ve been a police chief and/or a couple of subordinates officers, resulting in selections made from only a narrow band of the applicant pool. Today, as someone previously touched on, the applicant is judged by a panel consisting of a police sergeant, a community member, and a representative from city personnel. This panel represents the city’s best effort to subjectively evaluate candidates based on the objective needs of the job.

    Contrary to BubbleBoy’s annoyingly ignorant statements, a significant number of the applicants who do not get hired did not fail the testing process (pass point lowered over the years to accommodate the declining intelligence of our state’s young people). They either scored too low to be considered or failed some phase of the background process. Who does and does not get considered is based on a codified ranking procedure that is governed by the number of jobs available. Because state law requires the issuance of a conditional job offer before delving into the background phase, and those job offers must be based on the number of vacancies to be filled, the city can do only so much. The success of the process (in terms of filling academies) is directly proportional to the quality of the applicant pool. It can be two to four times as costly (and exhaustive) to process a low-quality pool simply because their scores will bunch nearer the fail mark, creating huge numbers of numerically equal applicants who are equally eligible for job offers. What’s worse is that these applicants have disproportionately lower rates of acceptable backgrounds which translates into a personnel unit that is doing more work but still coming up short of bodies. It’s not the test, it’s the test-takers.

    That is why SJ’s academies are less than half full and why we can expect them to remain so. Should SJPD miraculously field a full academy in the next round alarms should sound, as that can only happen if wages/benefits improve or if the personnel commander succumbs to political pressure (which would then need be applied to both the academy and the field training program).

    There is simply no substitute for attracting the best available candidates; they return the best bang for the testing and training dollar, they can do the job, and they represent the least risk to the public and the city that employs them.

  23. “Looking at those numbers, it’s pretty obvious that police pension payouts for “Tier 1″ officers were unsustainable.” The question is: How did this percentage of an individual’s pay become so high? It was because the Tier 1 System became a “closed” fund, i.e. no new retirement plan members would come in. At the same time, the existing base of the Plan were being asked to pay into the System at an accelerated rate to pay off this newly created bubble. This phenomenon was made worse by the fact that a closed plan has a much more conservative investment strategy, resulting in lower returns on investment. This entire scenario was rammed through by Chuck Reed’s political strategy of getting the voters to believe that the public employees were the “problem.” Now the taxpayers are stuck with his failed strategy of having to pay this bubble over the next several years. Because the burden falls so heavily on the employees as well, they will continue to exit at a rapid pace and soon the retirement cost as a percentage of current pay will exceed 100%. There is no mystery to any of this. City employees told the Mayor and Council that this would be the inevitable result of Measure B, but local media such as the Metro and the Mercury have never actually done an impartial analysis of the expected fiscal impacts of Measure B. What was sold as fiscal reform will actually cost the taxpayers much more in the long run. It’s time to stop posturing in favor of false “reform” and look at the realities of Reed’s failed effort.

    • The percentage employees pay into their retirement has always been high and was 20%+ even before Measure B and Measure’s V and W were passed by voters. If Measure B had been / or ever is fully implemented the police officer’s contribution will increase from the approximate 22% they currently pay to 38% (+16%!!!). Mayor Elect Liccardo has stated many many times that he will implement that portion of Measure B or a provision that allows the City to REDUCE pay by 16% if the “unions” continue to challenge the measure’s legality.

  24. Just wanted to share a recent incident I had with an SJPD background investigator who was collecting information on applicant they were considering. I am in HR in the private sector & have zero experience with SJPD hiring standards but this sort of alarmed me.
    One afternoon I had an SJPD officer at my door conducting a background investigation on my neighbor across the street. He asked me if i knew a person by the name of ? (Can’t remember) to which i answered i have no clue who that is. He repeated the name and i still had no clue who it was. After telling him that he then proceeded to tell me “what you don’t know your neighbors?” So I politely explained I don’t socialize with any of my neighbors never have and don’t plan on starting now. If I seen suspicious activity around their homes i would definitely report it to PD as i am sure they would but I have no desire to get to know any of them personally. I am not one to go yap it up with neighbors and keep to myself. Again he asked “so you are saying you dont know xx” his tone was like I was lying. Then on the fourth try he said so you have never seen a woman driving a pet control truck across the street? I replied “ah now i know who your asking about but I still do not talk to her or know her at all”. He asked me again “so you know nothing about her? Have you seen her guests? Any parties? Stuff like that?” I responded again “I have never seen any huge parties or illegal activity at her house but like I said 5 times now and it may sound odd I DONT PAY ATTENTION TO MY DAMN NEIGHBORS ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU VALUABLE FEEDBACK!” This officer again had a tone as if I was lying and at this point I was annoyed and a lil disturbed. He then leaves after giving me his card and walks the block stopping randomness neighbors asking the same stuff. One of the neighbors he finally got to talk to him is a neighbor who has verbal arguments with his drugged out wife in the front yard. This neighbor lives across the street and just sits in his window watching everyone (I am positive he is on drugs) starts crap with many of us and to date at least from my experience has never talked to any resident on that street. Yet this neighbor who gets pissed the animal control truck the applicant drives is sometimes parked in front of his house (this goes for any car that parks there) and proceeds to talk about how the truck is always there and he has attempted to discuss with her and she blows him off rudely. This neighbor can talk about anything but to me is not credible and looks like he is on method and yet this investigator talked to him for 45 minutes in front of my house about the applicant that i have never seen him or anyone else socialize with. To me anyone can say something to sabotage being hired after experiencing that! It was very odd to me and seeing as her animal control truck is still here once in a while i assume she wasn’t hired!  

  25. First of all, the pension part of it. There is no such thing as any employee enrolled in a defined benefit program paying “into” or a “portion” of their pension. That is a twist of words used to confuse you. Nobody actually pays into anything.
    They just have a pay cut. All you really do is take a pay cut that frees up money for the city to spend elsewhere or reduce what they put away for your pension.

    For instance. You work for the city and make 100,000 a year and after 30 years you can retire at 90% of your pay or 90,000 a year.

    Lets say you don’t pay ANYTHING “into” your retirement. Zero is taken from your check.
    Now lets say some horses rear end of a politician convinces the public YOU need to pay YOUR fair share of your pension and passes a law, we will call it “measure lie”. Measure lie passes an now you have to pay 50,000 dollars into your pension.

    So you make 100,000 a year and now you have 50,000 a year taken from your check by the city for your pension.

    Did it change your pension now that you pay 50,000 a year? Nope. Not one cent. Not even a fraction of one cent.
    You still get 90,000 a year if you retire after 30 years. All it was for you was a pay cut. You GROSS 100,000 a year but you take home very little of it. And it is that take home pay that pays your bills.

    A defined benefit retirement is very different than lets say a 401k or an I.R.A. In those programs, it really is YOUR money and the more you put into them, the more money you have.

    In the pension these officers have, there is a risk always hanging over their heads. That risk is the very same horses rear end of a politician can always change what your pension is. There will be a fight but one day, your pension COULD be reduced if the city is bankrupt. It is never YOUR money.

    To be frank, I think the pensions are a rip off of the employee. Without adding 4000 words to my long post, let me just say I would rather take the 80,000 dollars the city puts into a pension and have it in my own 401k. I think I would have more in retirement and since it is really MY money now, when I die, my children get most of that money, minus what the government steals from my death.

    As for pay, remember this, making over a 100k sounds good but since I am there, I can tell you the problem. Number one is my pay is half that, since I pay into pensions, Social Security (most cities don’t participate in S.S.) union dues, parking fees and 10,000 a year for medical insurance.

    So with half my 100,000 a year I run into the next problem, which is you have to pay 100% of your bills, even though you only take home 50,000 a year you need to pay for food for your kids, daycare etc. If you made less money, the government steps in and pays for those items. If you made a little less than half that pay, then you actually get to keep it, since you would get all your taxes back and maybe even more back than what you paid. You would also get your daycare covered, maybe free breakfast and lunch for your kids.

    So your lifestyle might not be much different at 100,000 than at 40,000 a year.

    Which is why police officers always talk about their pension, because to them, that is all they are working for.

    And to that pension, I say the officers are really getting ripped off, they would be wise to dump the defined benefit program and just ask the city to fork over 80,000 a year for a 401k. But that would mean that same #$#$# politician would need to allow our citizens to put away that much money without taxing us………and you know what they will say to that.

  26. I must say that I after I joined the military. I was shocked at the amount the of pay the revenue generators of San Jose were being paid. Even your lowest amount that could be chosen is way to to high. A public servent should not be taking so money from taxpayers. A livable wage around 42,000 USD to 45,000 USD adjusted for inflation every year is what these uniformed revenue generators should be getting paid. A side bote why do we need so many of them? Actual crime in San Jose seems about the same now as it always has been since there numbers have decreased.

  27. When you say “It takes 10 years for an officers benefits to become vested.” do you mean the vesting is a cliff vesting or a graded vesting? 10 years is a long time and cliff vesting would mean if the employee leaves 1 day before completing 10 years, they won’t get a penny.

    • At SJPD it would be the “cliff vesting”. 1 day short of 10 years and all you get is to withdraw whatever you contributed minus the taxes if you aren’t rolling it into something else. That is only for Tier 1 employees.

      If you where hired as a tier 2 employee then there is no vesting EVER… the city can collect your contribution pay or not pay theis for 30 , 40 50 years….and then you retire and they say have a nice life here is what you put in now go. Of course the compassionate politicians who devised tier 2 say “we would never do that.” Right…

  28. If you wonder what a public worker earns, check out http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/search/?q=police
    In my search result for “police”, San Jose officers are at the top, where the high pay is. I am astounded at the total packages I see, as I pay taxes by being an office worker, and chances are I will never see such pay in my lifetime. I found it hard to look past this one officer (Daniel P /Guerra), who managed to earn $428,898 in one year (his benefits were more than his base salary), out earning higher ranked personnel in San Jose. I find it it amazing that police officers have such potential to out-earn a Police chief if they wanted to; doubling their base salaries by working overtime, plus the benefits! As a result, I am confused as to what the big protest and uproar is about. I understand this is high risk job, especially nowadays and I’m thankful that they avail themselves to serve the public in danger.
    Perhaps having a job that gives one a potential total annual compensation of over $400,000 not good enough! If I had a chance to earn this much money annually, I wouldn’t even think about asking anyone to take care of me when I retire! But that’s just me.

    • Do you live under a rock? FYI overtime is mandatory at SJPD thanks to shortsighted politicians and the idiots who voted for measure V, W and B which decimated staffing at the department from over1400 officers 6 years ago to fewer than 850 today.

      Now, get back to the office gossip or whatever it is you do that keeps you so envious and bitter.

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