A Bartender’s Vantage Point

The Public Safety, Finance And Strategic Support Committee took up the topic of unnecessary force in conjunction with drunk-in-public arrests. The police department along with the city auditor, city manager and Independent Police Auditor spent approximately 500 hours going through paper to pull out data. Inherently, a paper system is cumbersome and takes time to extrapolate data. Although we have a records management system, it is antiquated and unable to make queries that a modern system would, and it was not set up to manage certain historic data.

This issue is indicative of our city’s lack of investment in information technology. 

There are many times that we ask for specific data sliced in a certain way and/or queried a particular way, yet the deliverable borders on impossible or extremely difficult. Then, if we are to get the data, the lag time is so long, it is sometimes obsolete. There is a legitimate need for upgrading information technology in our City—but there are few dollars. Staff put in a great effort but should spend their time on more pertinent public safety matters. 

I never came out and accused the police of racial profiling or excessive force. Rather I walked our Downtown late at night and saw that club patrons did not mirror the San Jose population as a whole. Or put another way, the night time crowd did not match the Turkey Trot crowd. So if drunk-in-public arrests downtown did not exactly mirror the population of San Jose that made sense to me.

I was a bartender for more than ten years, as it was my second job on top of my day job.  I can say, with good authority, that when people drink excessively they have poor judgement. They may get silly, argumentative and sadly belligerent to anyone around them. It did not make a difference if the person was blue collar or white collar; I would see people transform over the evening and sometimes in a negative way. Several times at the end of the night I would see that problematic individual arrested for doing something dumb, in Downtown San Jose and Los Gatos. For the record, a majority of the belligerents in Los Gatos were Caucasian, which coincidentally mirrors the Los Gatos bar scene.

Also, if you are a police officer assigned to an entertainment district, you encounter different situations than you would in a neighborhood. Therefore, you make arrests that are different from other officers. If one officer has the Almaden Valley neighborhood during the day and another has the Downtown at night, it is completely different. So calling out certain officers that have too many arrests of a certain category or arresting a certain type of person does not make sense.  We have to take into consideration all other factors including demographics.

Most police officers I have met are polite, but when faced with a belligerent, intoxicated person, police need to manage the situation according to their training. Basic Rule: If you want to be treated with respect, show respect.

Good luck to the Willow Glen Rams varsity football team as they face the Sequoia High Ravens of Redwood City for the Division 2 CCS final championship game. Game time is 3pm Saturday at San Jose City College. Go Rams!

33 Comments

    • “The Turkey Trot crowd does not ethnically/economically reflect San Jose”

      And neither does the downtown bar scene crowd Benjamin, and thank heaven for that.

      Tina

      • Hi

        Mr. Oliverio wrote, “Rather I walked our Downtown late at night and saw that club patrons did not mirror the San Jose population as a whole. Or put another way, the night time crowd did not match the Turkey Trot crowd.”

        I believe that he was making the connection that the Turkey Trot crowd is a reflection of the San Jose population as a whole.  I disagree with that connection.

        • I have worked and played DT for a few decades.  It has changed remarkably, at a great cost, but it is not worth the taxpayer cost.

          Since the McEnery years, billions of taxpayer $$ have been spent trying to make a viable DT in a community that is, at its core, competely SUBurban.  Tom still doesn’t get it, although he keeps telling me that it is I who doesn’t get it.  Except for him and a small number of DT business owners, very few people in SJ give a damn about DT SJ.  They are interested in the neighborhoods in which they live.

          DT empties out by 6:00 p.m. week-nights Tom and Frank Taylor, and the RDA heads since Frank, got it backwards.  To make a 24-hour DT, you need people who live IN DT to support the DT businesses.  The daily flight of DT workers to their suburban homes continues to this day.  For the most part, people don’t leave work, drive home to WG, or Almaden, or LG or Los Altos, pick up the husband or wife, and then return to DT SJ to eat and party.

          The exception is the after 10:00 p.m. element, most of whom do not live DT, and thus have no personal stake in keeping DT civil and safe.  They descend Thursday-Saturday nights after 10:00, get liquored up and, for the most part have a good time.  The exceptions make Sean Webby’s column after they are arrested for being, essentially, drunk assholes, which Messrs Webby and Jayadev try to turn into some racist cabal by SJPD.

          Now, with city or RDA subsidies/loans (basically, taxpayer $$ that could be put to much better use), Tom McEnery has closed off St. John St. @ San Pedro while his behind schedule mini Pike St. Market gets built @ San Pedro Square, which already has significant vacancies.  And that’s gonna save DT?

          I’m confident Tom will tell me nicely when he next sees me @ SJAC what an idiot I am and how I just don’t get it.  However, after 30+ years and BILLIONS of taxpayer $$, DT remains essentially moribund, and of the million or so folks who live in SJ, no more than 10% or so give a damn about DT, except for the fact that the $$ spent on it could have been spent better in their neighborhoods.

        • Downtown doesn’t need saving, it’s already hitting a positive inflection point. Also it was worth the cost to build an urban center that will serve as a model for future developments in San Jose (North First St., Midtown, Japantown). There is a growing number of people that do not want to rely on cars to get everywhere, and despite the economy the 3 residential condo buildings are filling up nicely.

          I don’t think the money would have been better spent focusing on suburban development, that is not a sustainable or efficient model for a city that has run out of land and continues to grow in population.

        • JOHNNY BOY,
          YOU SURE HAVE A WAY OF FINDING PERSPECTIVE. I HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOUR POST HERE. A LAUGHABLE ASIDE IS THE ONLY THING NEW AT HENRYS HIGH LIFE ARE THE NEW PARKING METERS ON RIVER ST. YET THERE THEY ARE PACKING THEM IN.
            PERHAPS WITH THE RDA SUCKING WIND, AND THE MAYOR
          AND TOM SPENDING BUCKETS OF OUR CASH, WE CAN ENJOY HENRYS HIGH LIFE WITH OUT ALL OF THE NEWBIES. WANTING A NICKNAME. THEY WILL ALL BE GUESTS OF TOM AND SAM
            JOIN US AT HENRYS HIGH LIFE FOR “NO LOVE TUESDAY”. THE SUBJECT JUST MIGHT BE TOM’S “MINI PIKE STREET MARKET”. I’M SURPRISED THEY HAVE NOT PUT PARKING METERS IN THE HENRYS PARKING LOT! hee hee!
           
            GIL HERNANDEZ / THE VILLAGE BLACK SMITH

  1. You’re all over the place…  Let me see if I can keep up.

    I think the night time clusterfuck we experience every weekend was created by the push downtown. 

    We used to have quite a number of fun entertainment districts before the unincorporated land grab started happening.  Almaden Valley had its own little scene, remember Mothers?  I used to dance all night as a teen at One step beyond.  There was also some nightclub at the top of the pruneyard towers.

    What this did was in effect, kept the demographics of each neighborhood to itself.  When birds of a feather flock together, you see less clashing and fighting since cultural differences are not so obtuse to one another.  This isn’t a race thing at all, people on the east side are different then the west side, or north/south for that matter.

    There is one exception to this, and that’s the arts.  Bands, Rock and Roll.

    When SJ had the cactus club, it was a place for local bands to play on a stage that was pretty open and welcoming.  There isn’t a club like it downtown anymore.  I could argue, that the lack of this is another factor that has contributed to the nightly clusterfuck downtown.

    Local bands are an art scene unto themselves (if you consider music==art) People will generally behave themselves while in the moment of appreciating art. 

    Now while dance is an art, the type of dance scene that seems to permeate downtown clubs is to shop for a one night stand.  The ends to a means so to speak, and not one that is in appreciation for the art of dance.  It is a short term goal of self fulfillment rather than achieving a lifetime appreciation for an artistic expression.

    Funny because where I work in karaoke, it seems to be a middle grounds for both.  People come to appreciate singing talents, and for a romp in the sack. 

    Enough of that though.. Lets move on to our new Police auditor.

    If judges and the DA would quit pandering out, and actually hand down sentences and civil judgments to the few bad apples in the SJPD, then maybe we wouldn’t need a police auditor now would we?  In the short term, it would create some liability, but in the long term anyone applying to the SJPD would know if they didn’t follow procedure to a T, they would be exposing themselves. 

    I have good friends that were at the center of a few high profile cases.  Remember Phong Do?  My friend of 20 years was the one that recorded that beating on his cell phone.  I won’t go into everything that happened concerning that case, but let’s just say I don’t think justice won out there.

    There are a ton of good apples in the SJPD.  I want to clarify this.  Some of you are my friends. I know you guys handle your job with pride and a professionalism that I’m still trying to learn myself.

    Police records, IT investment.

    I understand what the costs to move things over would be here.  There is a lot of truly confidential data, and anyone on the chain of upgrades has to have a sparkling clean record. Employees with sparkling clean records aren’t cheap, especially when they’re software developers.

    Outsourcing doesn’t work here either, because it’s a state/fed? mandate that we background check anyone working on these types of records.  This truly is one IT cost that will cost us when we do get to a point where we can switch over.

    The cheapest (and easiest) way to upgrade an old system like that is to throw hardware at it.  Migrating over to newer/faster hardware, or virtual machines would provide the performance you need out of the current system, without having to put a lot out in the way of hiring people to rewrite the system and importing the old data.

    Put the entire DB on a virtual machine made from a cluster of servers that load balance between them.  Further enhancements can be made on the servers by using SSD disks in a raid configuration.

    Meh I’m in the mood for some $13 lobster tail at Race street fish market.  I’ll see you later PL.

    • There’s one big reason I’d never vote for you Cortese – your filthy mouth. If you don’t have enough self control to avoid typing foul words, you are unfit for most jobs.

  2. Mark Twain popularized the phrase, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics…” I believe that the so-called comparative studies that various media oulets such as the Mercury News have published on the topic of public drunkenness arrests are a classic case in point of this kind of deception. Theirs was not scientific in its execution by any means. Rather, they cherry-picked a very limited set of statistics to perpetuate a deception, for here, the truth wrapped in a lie is still a lie. The Mercury News failed to disclose that other agencies may make arrests for public drunkenness or disorderly conduct as municipal code violations instead of Penal Code violations and simultaneously failed to acknowledge the numerous scientific studies (such as those published by the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences) which suggest that alcohol abuse may be more prevalent amongst Hispanics than in other demographic groups. Again, this is a deception by non-disclosure.

    Thank you PLO for acknowledging that issues like these are often much more complex than media outlets would have the public believe. Also, thank you for pointing out that, ultimately, respectful behavior begets respectful behavior in kind. Part of respect means that people should not become so intoxicated they are a nuisance to the general public.

  3. San Jose information technology and city management would be laughable JOKE and fraud if it wasn’t 10-15 years or more behind many California city / local governments while calling it self ” The Capital of Silicon Valley” with ancient computer, software and communications systems

    Individual understaffed city employees are working very hard but do not have common tools or systems to make efficient work or be able to timely identify common future problems to improve city

    – each department has separate stand alone old systems not connected to city wide database to extract management reports which have to be done by time wasting manual inquires and excel spreed sheets by understaffed city employees

    – Council memos have to be hand carried to Clerks office since there is not scanning system to transmit signed Mayor / Council memos

    – commonly used GPS / mapping vehicle systems for departments are just starting to be implemented – which could save 1000’s hours and improve efficiency in dispatching city service employees and greater accountability and management for employee hours ( less wasted time )

    – modern department / city management data retrieval systems are not used since there is little systems support for accumulating management / performance reports so city has no real knowledge of worker productivity or time accountability

    – police officers still write manual police reports or use there own personal computers to rpint out manual reports wasting 5-20% of daily shift since police car computers are not connected to headquarters to transmit reports like most other pd’s   Police reports are manually reviewed and then manually keyed into PD report system delaying updates, reports and real time crime numbers by days or weeks   Only part of police officers have traffic ticket computers not all officers requiring manual reports

    – fire department stats and report numbers are manually input in to system and extracting data reports very time consuming and difficult without modern date management system

    – Planning Department can not accept developer or permit application on line or by email of documents even though applications are filled out on developer computers then printed out prior to supmission and well as blueprints and drawings but relies on extremely time consuming manual applications and data input and scanning documents

    – Departments lack common up to date computerize data systems to track supplies , equipment or vehicles and reply on non standardized older systems requiring many more data processing employees and higher costs to maintain old inefficient out dated systems with poor reports

    – San Jose has no idea why tax revenue paying businesses leave SJ for other cities and does not track reasons or report on reasons so SJ can retain businesses and revenue

    – Many departments could be combined to improve efficiency and cut unnecessary workers or overstaffed managers, directors etc but there is no easy way to get reports or detailed analysis

    There are many, many other examples of city’s outdated, inefficient or unavailable workload, employee workload, reporting and communications systems

    City governments commonly used in other cities do not exist in San Jose.

    Other city employees can give you a better picture of city inefficiency, wasted employee time and needed worker performance reporting systems but many are afraid they might be next targeted layoffs by threatening vindictive management if found out source of information to SJI

    • Wow, that’s horrible. Regarding the second to last bullet, there should be a position entirely dedicated to finding out why businesses leave San Jose and trying to retain those businesses. Saving 1-2 businesses a year would already be worth the cost of that position, not to mention the priceless process improvement data that could be used to attract new businesses.

    • With respect to the police department not having an automated report-writing system, I would like to add this: Several years ago, the department had received a sizable federal grant (in the amount of $15 million iirc) for the purpose of IT upgrades in the form of an automate report-writing system. At the time that I was involved in the testing of the selected software, the department was rapidly approaching the ‘use-it-or-lose-it” deadline, after which money had to be returned to the Feds if it had not been used for the intended purpose.

      I was one of a number of officers and support staff involved in ‘train the trainer’ training for the purpose of doing in-field testing of the software and, hopefully facilitating training of other users once the software was installed for department-wide use. The trouble was that the software selected was such a steaming pile of excrement that it was completely unworkable for our purposes. In fact, ‘steaming pile of excrement’ might have been the kindest thing I had to say about the selected software during the training and the period during which I was testing it. Keep in mind that the peopel selected for this training were already fairly tech-savy, and that some had come from tech industry prior to Among its numerous and glaring faults were the following:
      -It was too complicated to use – sufficiently so in fact that it was enourmously difficult for the testers to use, much less those of us who were less tech-savvy
      -The UI was sufficiently visually different from the reports to which most of the department had become accustomed that making the transition would have been nearly impossible for many of us.
      -The utility for generating things like crime scene sketches and collision diagrams was exactly the opposite of utilitarian. Seriously. It looked exactly like the paint software that came with Windows3 way back when. Seriously. There was absolutely no way for investigators in the Traffic Investigations Unit or Crime Scene Unit to generate useful diagrams as part of the digital report. In short it was about as utilitarian as a wart on your ass.
      -There was no way to integrate digital evidence such as digitally-recorded statements or digital photographs with the digital report.
      -There was, apparently, no way to make the process of submitting and approving reports consistent with the duty manual.

      In short it was an unworkable boondoggle – an opinion unanimously shared by the testers with such conviction that the project was ultimately scrapped and the funding lost.

      One of the questions asked by those of us involved was why the department had not sought an IT solution which had a UI which could be configured to be visually similar to our paper reports. The answer was that such a solution existed which was also as functional as the department required, but it was not selected.

      Another example of tech upgrade boondoggles -though far more minor – is the use of digital cameras. The department uses a variety of digital cameras which use TWO different types of memory: SD and xD. The use of SD is sensible: it is commonplace and relatively cost-effective. xD, on the other hand is, to my knowledge, is among the least cost-effective formats on a per-MB basis.

      Lastly, there is the use of the electronic citations, which, after several months of use, I decided was an unmitigated pain in the ass. Data entry sucks – especially if you have an unlicensed driver or if the Driver’s license wouldn’t scan properly. And, both these situations arose, for me, far more often than not. Also, there was the matter of keeping the peripherals connected by bluetooth to the handheld device – another unmitigated pain in the ass. Then, there were those circumstances wherein a device which had initialized and functioned properly a few hours before simply would not work properly when you needed it, forcing you to go back to the old standby – your trusty pen and cite book. Lastly, the data entry process for citation notes was also a pain in the ass for a variety of reasons. Needless to say, because I have the option, I use my trusty cite book and pen these days.

      Around the Department, amongst the rank and file, there is a standing joke that the Department has a nearly flawless record of investing in yesterday’s technologies today. I’ve seen nothing in my ten years of work there that would cause me to conclude otherwise.

  4. San Jose expects 21st Century performance by understaffed city employees but has last century’s tools and technology ( 1980’s ) while everyone is supposed to smile and keep quite about how employees are treated and blamed for all problems

    Management harasses and threatens employees, morale is all time low – with many waiting for retirement or economy to pick up to leave for better job unless you are favored few getting raises and promotions it will only get worst – few workers, more managers, less pay and more work

    • > Management harasses and threatens employees, morale is all time low – with many waiting for retirement or economy to pick up to leave for better job unless you are favored few getting raises and promotions it will only get worst – few workers, more managers, less pay and more work

      It seems to me that it is probably unethical on your part to be taking the city’s money and benefits if you think city employment is so demeaning.

      I suggest that you use one of the ancient, city-provided word processors, write your “take this job and shove it” memo, and then race to the exits.

      Then you can jump to a high paying job in the the private sector where your talents and attitude would be better appreciated.

      Or, maybe not.

      • We could get folks onto tons of free software, that’s probably as good, and in some cases better than what’s being used.

        I think the city worker makes a perfectly good point. Here, let me give you some examples.

        http://www.sjdistrict2.com/

        Ash’s site runs on a content management system called Joomla.  Free, open source, does an awesome job (especially if you want to create a news site like this one) but the city IT department won’t support the requirements needed to run it.

        What are the requirements?  More free software.  PHP and MySQL. 

        Ash had to host his districts website away from the city IT department to get it done.

        • >Ash had to host his districts website away from the >city IT department to get it done

          And how are district 2 residents benefiting from Ash’s high tech website?  More pictures promoting Ash!

          Pierluigi’s city supported web site is much better than Ash’s web site.  Ash provides very little useful information to his constituents.

        • You’re smoking son.  Ash isn’t the only councilmember to do this, Pete constant is running on Joomla as well.

          http://www.sjdistrict1.com/

          -Ascetically both sites look better than the SJ hosted site.
          -Both sites have categorized blog style content
          -Both sites provide plenty of information. 

          Ever seen that artwork where people throw paint at the canvas?  That’s what the city site sort of reminds me of.

          Most important, these sites OSS or free software.  If the city IT team actually came up with a plan to migrate stuff off to OSS and free solutions (saving us money) it’s a good thing.

  5. Pat Down

    So you don’t believe telling public what is happening at City Hall and throughout city government is appropriate ?

    What is illegal and unethical is city management actions and like private companies who mistreat, underpays for workload, demeans, break promises, threatens and bullying employees

    Many have left and more will be leaving as soon as other jobs are available.  Many former SJ employees have better jobs, less workload and better pay at other local governments and private companies

    I notice you don’t defend or deny city management is mistreating city employees or there is very low morale only attack the messenger who tells the public who has a right to know what is going on

  6. > This issue is indicative of our city’s lack of investment in information technology. 

    <soapbox on>

    Undoubtedly an accurate assessment.

    And I also have no doubt that the problem is widespread and pervasive at every level of government.

    The root problem is that in government (and especially in politics) information is power and lack of information is lack of power.  While half of the government (and politicians) want to know the facts, the OTHER half of the government DOESN’T want all the facts to be known. 

    The result is gridlock, a mess, and information chaos.

    It would probably be wise for the state of California to create an entirely new INDEPENDENT branch of government charted ONLY to create HONEST and TRANSPARENT accounting practices which the legislature and executive MUST use under pain of death.  And the same branch of government could define and maybe even implement a standardized core administrative and financial management system to be used by local governments.  (I know, I know: “WE can’t use a cookie cutter system because WE’RE different”.)

    All local governments do much of the same things, and there is no reason to have each one re-invent the wheel for their information systems, and ESPECIALLY no reason to allow information and management systems that are convoluted, complex, and allow them to hide sneaky things, so that auditors have to spend a year learning their arcane claptrap systems before they can figure out what’s going on.

    <soapbox off>

    • Bronco, the government of the State of California is the last entity I would want involved in the kind of oversight you suggest. The collective boondoggle that is our government is clearly incapable of undertaking the sort of task you suggest in any sort of relevant or cost-effective way. They can’t even manage the current budget, much less add a new oversight entity to the mix.

      • > Bronco, the government of the State of California is the last entity I would want involved in the kind of oversight you suggest.

        If you’re suggesting that the government is incapable of establishing “honest and transparent accounting practices” and “a standardized core administrative and financial management system” (which COULD be true), then we really are screwed.

        If they can’t get the numbers straight, then honest and efficient government is impossible.

        Grab your parachute and jettison the emergency hatch.  This sucker is goin’ down!

        • Um, Bronco, boyo, confirm we live in the same state? This is California. You know, the Sunshine state everywhere but in state government? Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy? Never a timely budget? Land of the endless boondoggle?

          I’m pretty sure they absolutely can’t get numbers straight, that honest efficient transparent government is nigh-unattainable and that this sucker is most certainly going down.

  7. City Hall D,

    Instead of quitting, I’d recommend angling for a SJPD position at SJ airport. 

    You can then enjoy donuts whilst looking down upon the high comedy that is passengers getting sexually assaulted by TSA from your perch behind a dais that would make Judge Wapner envious.

    On the day I flew it took 2 SJPD’ers for this task.

    • Not For Long.    To close the $70mil and rapidly climbing deficit City Mgr Figone has proposed totally eliminating all SJPD positions at the airport and going with private security.  Few fly from SJC now just think how appealing a place it will be when lil’ Deb solves our budget problems by eliminating police and fire jobs.

  8. I was a bartender for years too. If you act like a drunken ass, Too bad for you. And that includes Silicon Valley hot shots wearing their tie like a bandana and being a drunken ass or a downtown guy wearing his pants like a saggy diaper. Tough for you if you get arrested.

  9. I’m not sure how this turned into an IT geekfest…but I would observe that the parking enforcement system seems to work highly efficiently, using human capital (people) and IT to issue tickets quickly (within moments of a meter running out of time) and follows up with nice letters telling you how much extra to pay if you haven’t already mailed in your payment.  I even found myself able to pay online with a debit card.

    Of course I’d rather have had a smart meter that would have let me feed it more money via a smartphone rather than slap me with a fine…but I think this is about revenue and not customer service.  Which begs the question, why do we have parking meters?  Wasn’t it orginally designed to create turnover in front of local business so customers could get in and out easier?  Is that still the reason?

    Back to bars…and bigots.  Racial politics is a great wedge issue.  Entitlements and disparate treatment in modern post-democratic America means that adversarial advocacy requires a “Cause” to stake your turf and get your share of public goods.  In terms of police powers, we’ve already neutered the enforcement of immigration status under the argument that immigrant communities won’t call the police to report crimes if they fear deportation.  So the rule of law is diminished for PC politics.

    Politics 101 teaches us that you never “settle” for some when you can keep fighting for more.  The charges of police profiling are an example of this with a “cause” being found to incite emotional appeals and calls for action.  If nothing else, more police jobs will inevitably be filled by members of the minority community.  In addition, the office and staff of the police auditor will be a solid affirmative action job.  This is the payoff for cause advocacy, jobs and extra rights for some. 

    It might even lead to a tendency to not patrol and enforce the law in certain ethnic enclaves since all you’ll get is trouble from activists.  Then the police can focus on keeping Willow Glen and Almaden Valley safe and let everyone take their chances in other areas.

    Racial politics as a wedge issue pays off for cultural elites who profit personally (jobs, status, income and influence).  Its horrible for the collective community though as it creates more divisions than it heals. 

    Like most issues, the superficial facts being debated in the newspapers never tell the whole story.  Its like sound bites on the evening news, you get an image and a quote and are left with feelings rather than facts.

    • > but I would observe that the parking enforcement system seems to work highly efficiently, using human capital (people) and IT to issue tickets quickly (within moments of a meter running out of time) and follows up with nice letters telling you how much extra to pay if you haven’t already mailed in your payment.  I even found myself able to pay online with a debit card.

      Effecient?!! HAH!!!

      Several years ago, I received a speeding ticket courtesy of one of San Jose’s “Ticket Cams”.

      A year later, I received a notice in the mail that “in the interest of jusice”, my $200 fine was being canceled and I would receive a refund check in the mail.

      Check never came.

      • Sounds about right.
        As I understand it, the reason that your fine was levied, then forgiven, then unforgiven, was because the poor, overworked, underappreciated City employees who are being handsomely paid to do a job, are so demoralized because of mean stuff being said about them by people like you and me, that they are unable to do their jobs properly.
        That makes sense doesn’t it?

  10. Mr Oliverio,

    As a relatively new resident of downtown San Jose (1 year), I would like to express both my support and gratitude for your “SanJoseInside” article I read in the Metro this morning.

    You hit the nail on the head and I couldn’t agree with you more!

    For me, San Jose is a great place to live and work, except during the hours of around midnight to 2:30am. From our window, my wife and I have a bird’s eye view of the almost weekly altercations that take place E. San Fernando St. It’s extremely hard to tell which of the drunks are just loud and which are truly dangerous. I’ve observed and (occasionally worked with) the San Jose Police Department on several occasions and to my eyes they have always acted appropriately to quickly diffuse potentially very dangerous situations. Officers often need to make extremely quick decisions to protect themselves, the general public, and even the people causing the problem. I respect the officers that serve on San Jose Police force and I think they are doing an excellent job of contributing to the improvement of the quality of life for downtown residents.

    Again, thank you for your article and all of your tireless efforts to increase the quality of life for myself and my family.

  11. Since you have studied the claims of the MercuryNews ACLU and the drunken patrons of SJ’s downtown ginmills and found them to have no merit AND you are emerging as a fiscal watchdog ,  you should consider the outright elimination of the “Office of the Independent Police AUDITOR.”

    The IPA and its 5 employees are a complete waste of the taxpayers money. The IPA budgeted a ridiculous 98% of its 2010-2011 operating budget to personnel costs!!! That would be salaries and benefits to “provide oversight” to the police department. A review of all IPA year-end reports shows that the.office does little if anything other than create additional unnecessary work for an already overtaxed police department and make “recommendarions” that are rarely taken seriously enough to even consider.

    Eliminating the IPA would result in nearly $1mil in real dollar savings and countless more in the elimination of the indignant busy work they produce to burden the police and justify their own wasteful existence.