ICE Agents Leave Town after 2 Months

San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore has cut loose two federal immigration agents just two months after being heavily criticized by community groups for his decision to bring in the agents to combat gang violence. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents reportedly helped the city’s METRO unit arrest 215 gang members during the time they were here.

The reasons given for no longer needing the assistance of the two ICE agents, who were loaned to San Jose through a federal grant, was that homicides related to gangs have stopped completely in the last two months. There were 14 gang-related murders this year prior to their arrival.

Jason Dwyer, a police public information officer, reportedly said that community activists criticizing the decision to bring in federal immigration agents played only a minor role in letting the agents go. Activists have said bringing in the agents was an example of Moore going back on his word, and that it fostered distrust in minority communities and made illegal immigrants less comfortable to report crime for fear of deportation.

“Are we crumbling to the community pressure? Absolutely not,” Dwyer told the Mercury News. “If we were still getting bombarded with homicides, those guys wouldn’t be going anywhere. We accomplished what we set out to do, we’ve completely stopped” the gang homicides.

While there have been no homicides since the ICE agents came to San Jose, from an outside perspective it’s difficult to determine just how large a role they played. The METRO 38-person unit made gangs its sole focus during that time.

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

32 Comments

  1. Chief Figone runs SJPD not her uniformed asssitant Chief Moore who she tell exactly what to do and say or she will retire ( fire ) him

    Is Figone going to run for Council after she retires and hand pick from her crones her City Manager like Reed and his cronies is hand picking his Mayor

  2. With reference to SteveO’s comment about the chief’s closed meeting with community activists last month, it is notable that all the senior groups and all the white groups were excluded.  And guess the group that is being targeted by San Jose’s finest?  That’s right, the people who can afford to pay $400 and $800 traffic tickets, and who don’t want to contest the tickets.  Hard to believe, I know, because it runs against the myth that only young people of color are targeted, but Reed’s revenue collecting program has been passed from the Finance Department to the Police Department.

    A special interest group that apparently had its own secret meeting with the chief is realtors active in the current Wild West Foreclosure Movement.  All they have to do is lisp the word “trespassers” to the police HQ, and two officers will be dispatched to evict renters from their homes, said renters having had no notice about the foreclosure order on the house itself.  This is a vicious and illegal practice.  Note that calls about trespass are usually given benign neglect by our finest, but not if the call is from a realtor.  Something is really wrong with policing in San Jose.

  3. If you look at Moore’s resume and get past his JD, Whitehouse Fellowship and Fulbright Scholarship (Figone didn’t) you’ll notice that he hasn’t done a whole lot of police work. He’s got next to no investigative or real command experience and went from lieutenant to captain to deputy chief without ever leaving the communications division. His piss-poor decision-making abilities and fondness for hob-knobbing in DC were well known around the PD long before Figone made him chief.

  4. Chief Moore has a yellow streak a yard wide down his back. He has evidently taken to worshiping at the shrine of Neville Chamberlain. Appeasement is now the working word for this Chief. He panders to every so called special interest group yet he won’t meet with his officers who bear the burden of policing San Jose understaffed. So what does he do to get the support of his troops? He makes a laughable appointment at Asst Chief!!!  hahahahaha   what a dope.

  5. “We accomplished what we set out to do, we’ve completely stopped the gang homicides”

    Forever?  What about other violent crimes?  I don’t recall ICE agents being limited to arresting murders.  The irrational statements from SJPD make me wonder what really happened at the secret meeting Chief Moore held with the anti-police activists last month.

    Chief Moore sounds a bit like George Bush declaring Iraq “mission accomplished” after landing on the aircraft carrier in 2003.

  6. If you look at Moore’s resume and get past his JD, Whitehouse Fellowship and Fulbright Scholarship (Figone didn’t) you’ll notice that he hasn’t done a whole lot of police work. He’s got next to no investigative or real command experience and went from lieutenant to captain to deputy chief without ever leaving the communications division. His piss-poor decision-making abilities and fondness for hob-knobbing in DC were well known around the PD long before Figone made him chief.

  7. “We accomplished what we set out to do, we’ve completely stopped” the gang homicides”……no, the only thing that stopped the gang homicides was the amazing emergency room doctors who through no fault of their own spend millions of our tax dollars bringing the gangsters back from death. The gang violence is still rampant, just some great doctors and poor shots.

      • Yes, wasn’t there a gang homicide on 8/29?  There was a DV homicide just the day before that.  That got all the press.  The gang homicide is not even one of SJPD’s press releases.

  8. First Moore orders officers not to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers (who are 99% of the time also uninsured). Now he orders ICE agents to go home. He says the reason is because the ICE agents did their job and stopped gang homicides “completely” (no gang related homicides since June, the same time the ICE partnership began). How many “gangbangers” did ICE deport to achieve this milestone? How dumb does Moore think the citizens of San Jose are?

    The Dismantling of SJPD:

    •  Two years ago SJPD had approx. 1400 officers. Today it is down to less than 1100 officers (that is 1.1 officers per 1000 residents…the national average is 2.2 per 1000). Tier 1 officers were laid off in July (66 officers were actually laid off with 40+ others left before the ax fell). Many officers, of all ranks, have retired before they intended to i.e. at 23-24 years instead of 27-30+ years of service, creating an experience and leadership vacuum. Officers with 10+ years of service are actively looking for employment elsewhere.

    •  The VCET unit was disbanded (responsible for uniformed street gang enforcement) and the MERGE unit (SWAT) was cut from 20 officers to 12. All units had staffing reduced. 

    •  The METRO Unit is now doing exclusively gang enforcement. Who is doing their old job of policing the downtown area? Nobody… maybe that’s why prostitution and open drug dealing are making a comeback.

    •  Patrol teams are going out with 1-3 less officers per team.

    •  The Detective Division (BOI) has been cut so deeply that good cases (solvable with further investigation) are being closed because of insignificant manpower.

    Officer moral is the worst it’s ever been. Why? 1) lack of leadership at the Command officer and Chief level 2) lack of POA leadership/support 3) draconian, one-way (down) discipline e.g. Bootgate 4) pay cut plus threats to roll back had won retirement benefits 5) appeasement of the IPA 6) officers (not supervisors or command officers) are expected to perform the same quality of work with less manpower and resources 7) career stagnation – no promotions in the near future and major reduction in detective and specialized unit positions.

    Over time, the combination of poor leadership, mass exodus of personnel and drastic physical changes will alter the culture of any organization.  The removal of the ICE agents is representative of this cultural change at SJPD – from a proactive, let’s get it done department to a re-active, let’s not offend anybody one.  PC correctness is the mainstay. During any interaction with the public nobody’s feelings can be hurt (except the officer’s). The ability BS and kiss ass is more important than the ability to hunt and catch bad guys.

    SJPD has gone from a department that was “the place to go to” (especially for lateral officers) to “the place to leave”.

    Moore lacks backbone and he has no political skills. He is a jellyfish being pushed around by the tides of political correctness. Compare him NYPD’s Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly or Oakland PD’s Chief of Police Anthony Batts – you can’t. There is no comparison.  What is Moore’s endgame? Did he become Chief of Police to be an appeaser? Does he think a future employer will look favorably at his lack of leadership?

    • Seems like the Union President Unland has his say in the paper as well.  He was able to come up with two stories on some prostitutes.  Is this the best he can do? We are a big city.

  9. What a Moron. instead of sucking up to D.Figone shouldnt he be supporting the men & women of SJPD.Just another FAILED political appointment! SJPD deserves to be led by someone who Cares about his staff and is willing to go to bat for them.they need a leader….unfortunately for the city and the department , it isnt Chief Moore

  10. The community runs the city and tells everybody what to do, whether it is good for them, or not. What is so sad is that nobody had the balls to stand up and say what is going to be. This chief acts like a p-ssy.

  11. The mayor and the Silly Council have cededed too much power to these self appointed,a non-elected activists. Our community is Less Safe because of these “bleeding hearts” (bleeding heads?). The activists favor unbridled immigration that only brings more Surenos (southern gangsters, as in south of our border) to a Norteno (northern gangster) town and thus the resultant murders and fighting. The activists therefore share in the responsibility for the deaths in our community all in the name of free (illegal) immigration. Their (not so) good deeds are punishing the innocent citizens in our community. A Pox on them and their minions!

  12. Maybe the gang violence is down, but the Hispanic gangs’ territory as marked by grafitti is expanding north into this neighborhood.  Removal of the ICE agents is a bad sign that the leadership of SJPD is more concerned with the influence of unelected “activists” than law-and-order.

  13. I hate to be the bearer of truthful news, but the ICE agents never even left the office!
    All those arrest were from the METRO Unit and uniformed patrol officers working paid overtime.
    All ICE brought to the table was an open federal checkbook.

    • Officer Z:  “All ICE brought to the table was an open federal checkbook.”  Sounds like a plan to me!  That’s more creative finance than the Mayor and City Council have come up with.

      • Berryessa Chillin’- Don;t get me wrong. I am not complaining about the money! smile I just want to set the record straight. The masses seem to think as reported by the Mercury that two ICE agents are not only the saviors of our city in battling gang crime but the enforcers of immigration and deportation too.

        The masses are misinformed. As usual. The two agents rode desks and probably gained 30 pounds around their midsections for doing NOTHING! They never hit the field nor did they ever participate in any arrests. They may have reviewed a few cases to see if federal statutes would apply or if the suspect had been a previously deported or illegal doing violent crime, but to say they were in any way even remotely effective is ridiculous!

        It is all Smoke and Mirrors. Still with that said, the chief looks weak for caving to the misguided and misinformed. Illegal is Illegal. It doesn’t matter one damn bit if you are productive or not.

        • Officer Z:

            Sounds like the corporate world:  bring in some consultants with some extra money from the corporate headquarters floating around, and the workers who have been faithfully slaving away all along finally have the resources to fix the problem—but the consultants get the credit.

            God bless our police officers!  Stay safe out there.

            BC

        • Not sure where you are working Z but these agents did NOT sit around and do “NOTHING!” as you state. I was/have been on the same floor with them and they were being used as resources. They were/are good people and really wanted to help. Sadly they were dropped into a political firestorm with a candy Chief. I think your over generalization is a bit harsh. To assess how effective they were would probably take a closer, less emotional analysis of their work. I agree with the rest of your post. This Chief is making Davis look better everyday! Stay safe brother.

        • X-  I extended an opportunity on multiple times to take them out during one of our gang overtime cars. the response I got was…well you guys work too late.

          I am not saying they are not good people or that they did not get thrown to the political wolves. What i am saying is that they are not and were not responsible for slowing gang crime down. Metro was. GIU detectives working their cases were. Patrol overtime shifts were.

          I believe they wanted to help, but the fact is, the didn’t have a measurable impact on our arrest stats. Counting them as bodies for an entry or perimeter doesn’t count as “helping”.

          I will agree that our current boss has fallen very very short from what we all hoped and expected. To say he makes Davis a more attractable chief is crazy!

          What we need in terms of true leadership is long gone and will never be allowed in this department as long as Figone has her chubby little fingers on the strings attached to the chief’s chair.

          stay safe as well!

        • Z:

          OK, thanks for clarifying. I had not heard they were less than enthusiastic with regards to the work, which as you and I know firsthand, means sacrifice and time away from the family in the am.

          I agree,…Metro, GIU, Patrol, G-cars, etc, did all of the heavy lifting and yes, being a perimeter body does not cut it. I helped them out on a few occasions but not in the field. They “seemed” eager and willing. Thx for the update. Honestly, with this Chief, in certain ways, they probably never had a chance.

          Regards Figone’s clutches you sadly right. Disgusting times. Thanks for being here and stay safe.

        • He’s done everything I expected: threw the cops and the PD under the bus and sold his soul to get the job. Did I mention making horrible, knee-jerk decisions (mostly politically motivated) and not reversing them so he won’t have to admit he made a mistake? Being gone all the time so he doesn’t have to deal with the day-to-day problems the PD is facing. He’s completely met my expectations. I was desperately hoping to be wrong.

        • “What we need in terms of true leadership is long gone and will never be allowed in this department as long as Figone has her chubby little fingers on the strings attached to the chief’s chair.”

          Yep, Davis essentially drove many great leaders into early retirement with repeated pass overs for promotion.  Davis’s legacy was promoting ass kissers and youngsters into leadership positions for which they had no training nor the respect of the troops.  Blame Moore for his performance now but blame Davis even more for sowing the seeds of destruction for his entire tenure.  There were many good cops that should have had the opportunity to lead but where never given the chance by Davis.

  14. Do the math paid overtime = how many cops.

    When I started you could not get a day off to save your life.  Staffing was short if you really wanted to day off you called in sick. There were pay cars every week and holdovers were common. A hold over occurs when it’s so busy that an entire shift is held to work overtime.  Fewer officers mean the same officer does more work and cannot get time off. Normally the city saves millions by issuing comp time. An officer gets 1.5 hours per hour of overtime worked. There is no cost to this because on a busy day the city gets more cops and on slower days those officers take time off. When I started almost 30 years ago you could not get a day off so every officer had a huge bank account of time off.  By mismanaging the amount of personal the public actually pays more for police service and gets less for it.  Having less cops on the books allows elected officials to do what they do best spend money they do not have. That project overtime is not on the books so they can spend money they should be saving for the day it’s needed.

    Right now Reed is playing a smoke and mirrors game with it’s city employees. There is a certain amount of work the city must do. Firing employees just delays that work for a time. At some point it will need to be done and it will be done on overtime. The comp time is a hidden debt that will grow fast.  Reed can pretend he has money to burn on a ball park but the reality is he in many cases has increased the cost to do the same job and will get less for that money. Do really expect an employee who is working 60 + hour weeks for extended periods to be as productive as they could be. The reality is their entire work product suffers.

    Reed wants the public to believe the employees caused this. Far from the truth the city has lied and played games for years for their personal gain. They steer monies to those who will donate the most into their piggy bank. 

    Stop buying the lines of snake oil sellers. How can you trust a lawyer who says he wants to put on the ballot a measure he does not believe is legal or says just because he voted for something as your elected representative it does not mean it was right. I guess Reed believes it’s his privilege at times vote for things he knows are wrong?  It maybe be too late. As a country we have gone to war with one another when one side stopped playing fair. Reed would do well to keep that in mind. It will not take much to push the public too far, look at London.  Reed and his friends may control much of the money and power but what good will it be if angry mobs are running around destroying and stealing everything. If there is a big riot again downtown there will not be enough cops to control it. Reed might keep in mind all that RDA money is gone he won’t be able to pass out millions to repair the damage. In this economy many will simply collect their insurance money and leave town.

  15. I’m not happy about the Chief letting these ICE Agents go either. I let him know that in no uncertain terms the night it was announced.

    In answer to the question, “How come everyone on the Council and our SJPD Police Chief cave into these groups,” is because very few people in the community contact or lobby the Mayor and Council objecting to what these groups are demanding! Instead of just blogging your displeasure, try sending an email, make a phone call, or go before the Council and demand they ensure our City stays safe. They never hear both sides of the story, and the cave into the most vocal groups. Politics 101.

  16. Sounds like you are missing Rob Davis who has great community support and pushed as much as he could for officers and adequate Pd staffing which is why Figone early retired him

    She does like anyone who questions or stand up for officers and community against her as Davis did so you got Moore – doesn’t seem you like what Figone gave you – DO YOU

  17. For those of you who are concerned about the rising tide of crime in San Jose, for those of you who care about an impartial application of the law instead of carving out exceptions for special interests and select groups, for those in the community who care about having an adequately staffed Police Department and Fire Department which resumes hiring – and, just as important, retaining the best candidates for public safety positions, I offer you the following. Please make your concerns and desires known. Please don’t let the whiners, the panderers, the race-baiters be the only ones with an audience among the city’s leaders.

    To contact member of the San José City Council by mail, send to:
    200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95113
     
    http://www.sanjoseca.gov/council.asp

    City Manager:  Debra Figone
    City Manager’s Office
    200 East Santa Clara Street, San José, CA 95113
    tel. (408) 535-8100 fax (408) 920-7007
    Email: [email protected]
    email:     [email protected]
     
    Mayor:    Chuck Reed
    408-535-4800
    Email: [email protected]
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/14
    Chief of Staff: P. Furman’s Calendar
    City Council Members:
     
    Pete Constant
    District 1
    408-535-4901
    Email:     [email protected]
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/14
    Chief of Staff: Rhovy Antonio’s Calendar
     
    Ash Kalra
    District 2
    408-535-4902
    Email:    [email protected]
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/12
    Chief of Staff: J. Okpaku’s Calendar
     
    Sam Liccardo
    District 3
    408-535-4903
    Email:   [email protected]
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/14
    Chief of Staff: R. Henninger’s Calendar
     
    Kansen Chu
    District 4
    408-535-4904
    Email:    [email protected]
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/12
    Chief of Staff: S. Fong’s Calendar
     
    Xavier Campos
    District 5
    408-535-4905
    Email:    [email protected] 
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/14
    Chief of Staff: J. Garcia’s Calendar
     
    Pierluigi Oliverio
    District 6
    408-535-4906
    Email:     [email protected]
    Calendar
    Term Expires: 12/31/12
    Chief of Staff: D. Fedor’s Calendar
     
    Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen
    District 7
    408-535-4907
    Email:    [email protected]   
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/14
    Chief of Staff: L. Moua’s Calendar
     
    Rose Herrera
    District 8
    408-535-4908
    [email protected]
    Calendar
    Dist[email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/12
    Chief of Staff: Mary Anne Groen
     
    Donald Rocha
    District 9
    408-535-4909
    Email:  [email protected]  
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/14
    Staff’s Calendar: P. Hamilton’s Calendar
     
    Nancy Pyle
    District 10
    408-535-4910
    Email:     [email protected]
    Calendar
    [email protected]
    Term Expires: 12/31/12
    Chief of Staff: K. Sutherland’s Calendar

    • OfficerD—Thanks for the info.  Unfortunately my family lives in District 4, so speaking to elected officials about current issues such as equal application of the law and prioritizing city spending for public safety in times of fiscal austerity means nothing.  Numbers of police officers in SJPD does not make a satisfying photo op, but endless local meetings and commissions, new and renovated public buildings with smiling children as a backdrop at opening day ceremonies, and BBQs with constituents are far more valuable on the city councilmembers’ websites.

      I’m somehow thinking that the latter way of thinking far extends beyond District 4.

      • BC,
        Council Member Chu supports law enforcement. It can’t hurt to write, that way they get a different viewpoint on the topic.