POA Wants What’s Best for Members; Helps Facilitate SJPD Exodus

San Jose’s police union leadership says it wants what’s best for its members. But how many members will be left if the Police Officer Association keeps on hosting other departments’ recruiters in its headquarters? In an ad in Sunday’s Mercury News, the Austin Police Department announced it was hosting two recruiting sessions in San Jose. After stopping by The National Hispanic University on Tuesday morning, the Texans moseyed over to the POA shop to hold court for three afternoon hours. POA President Jim Unland isn’t shy about voicing his distaste for Mayor Chuck Reed and just about every other pay cut and pension reform advocate on the City Council, but helping facilitate the exodus of police officers from the ranks—34 retirements in 2012 and 141 resignations since January 2011—seems counterintuitive. “This just proves they care more about their paychecks than people’s safety in San Jose,” says one local political consultant. Unland sees it differently, arguing: “I don’t represent San Jose Police Department,” he says, “I represent the men and women of the San jose Police Department.” Jerry Gonzalez, a lieutenant and recruiter for Austin PD, says his department paid for the ad on its own and was hoping its nationwide search would yield 20-25 officers with previous law enforcement in addition to fielding rookie recruits. The APD patrols a city of a million, Gonzalez says, with more than 1,700 officers—almost double the amount San Jose currently has active—and offers better pay and benefits. A list of SJPD defections shows that Redwood City PD and Santa Cruz’s PD and Sheriff’s Office have taken in a combined total of 25 former San Jose cops. Austin’s visit was the fifth on POA grounds made by a recruiter from an outside agency since this past summer.

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  1. Non-paid political consultant-This just proves that Mayor Reed is more concerned about cutting police paychecks than the safety of the citizens…..I find it comical the upper city management got raises and Team San Jose got bonuses, oops “reimbursements”….Good for you Jim, continue to have these open houses for the officers.  They need to know there are many citys willing to pay and support great officers.  What did Chief Moore say about the mayor and city counsel before he left???

  2. After having lost their homes and hearing Rufus talk of more layoffs/pay cuts, why would anyone be inclined to stay?  Measure B will only further victimize San Jose employees.

    Good for Unland, at least he’s trying make things better for the folks he represents (even if it depletes the membership).  It shows he actually cares for his fellow man.  There’s value to lifting others up rather than lowering the bar.  SJ Council is all about lowering the standard, hoping other cities follow suit.

  3. You are darn right I care more about my paycheck! That is how I feed my family and keep a roof over their heads! Honestly, I chose this profession, but the people of San Jose have to be pretty naive to think I care more about them than I do my own family!

  4. How can there be any question about why the POA is doing this? Its obligation IS to the officers, not the City or SJPD.  In the current climate, where paychecks are somewhere in the area of 20% lighter than they were a few years ago, and with the prospect of Reed’s Measure B being implemented and taking that total to an impossible sounding 46% less than they were, POA members desperately need options.  The POA is just acting in the best interests of its members.

    As for the commenter who doubts the sincerity of Austin PD’s recruiting efforts, at least one SJPD officer has already made the move to Austin.  Departments do sometimes recruit nationwide. Just a few years ago, SJPD conducted its own significant recruiting effort in New York and lured several officers to San Jose.  A short time later, after these officers turned their lives upside down to move across the country, Reed and Figone laid them off.  Fortunately, most found jobs with other departments, but the City’s message was clear.  The exodus will continue, because SJPD officers are respected and sought after everywhere.  Everywhere, that is, except San Jose.

  5. Jim Unland

    GOOD FOR YOU !  This just to proves to everyone involved that you care about the welfare of all “The Men and Women in Blue” . If it allows members to get paid more , bet better benefits , better pensions and are appreciated , then I say “Go and dont look Back” . This Mayor , Council and Residents have turned their collective backs on Public Safety . do whats best for you . this Cesspool of a City will hopefully come to realize what they have done to themselves . all crimes are on the increase and will continue . I just hope that at some point people wake up and start demanding that the Mayor and Council act in the best interest of the city and its employees. Public safety is continuing to abandon ship . No Matter what this Mayor says , San Jose simply can not hire fast enough to put a dent in the enormous exodus .  when it comes to hiring public safety , the Mayor can say what he wants , He simply has no clue what hes talking about and it doesnt really seem like like his overpaid Consultant does either. This consultant got paid more than most Public Safety out there working for this city

  6. Dear staff employee or John Galt,
    When your mayor Rufus and clown majority, clown council stops violating my constitutional rights maybe he will stop.

    If I remember correctly, they also took an oath of office that they violate everyday. I signed a legal contract before I took my oath of office 17 years ago.

    And just for your information, that’s not the oath office I took, stop making crap up.

    • I would love to see a copy of this “contract” you signed… because it doesn’t exist. The city has never provided employment contracts for its employees. If you have a contract, post it. I know the union has contracts, but employees never sign anything.

      I think you are lying; but go ahead and prove me wrong.

      • I’m sure you would, but since you accuse us of lying why don’t you walk down to city hall and do your own homework. We have better things to do than make your life easier.

        • Thanks David, coming from you that means a lot. Know that there are many of us around the city in public safety who do watch council meetings on the Internet, and greatly appreciate your tireless attempts to ensure the city is being run fairly and openly. You have more supporters than you know. Please keep up the good fight!

  7. The Policeman’s Oath of Honor

    On my honor
    I will never betray my badge,
    my integrity, my character
    or the public trust.
    I will always have the courage
    to hold myself and others
    accountable for our actions.
    I will always uphold the Constitution,
    my community, and the agency I serve.

    I don’t see anything in there about “upholding my public employee union” or “being loyal to a community 1,400 miles from here”.
    I do see where Jim Unland and others are violating this oath about half a dozen ways.
    Do your jobs guys. Quit sulking, do your jobs, or get out.

    • There’s nothing in that oath that makes officers indentured servants.  I’ve known many of the officers who left, and they were all dedicated to its ideals.  None really wanted to leave.  All were looking for security and a place where there efforts were appreciated.  I don’t know what you do, Galt, but I assume these things matter to you as well.  Instead of making a general statement, why don’t you explain how these officers violated the oath you cite?  I guess because you can’t.

    • Hey Joan, I mean John.  don’t worry your wish is coming true.  They are getting out as fast as they can.  Thanks to attitudes like Chucks’s and yours.

    • I don’t agree with the “love it or leave it” attitude, but I do agree that if someone is unhappy to the point where he/she can’t do the job, it’s better to part ways.

      I do think this is a continuing public relations train wreck for the police union though.  Notice I said “police union”.  It wasn’t too long ago that a police association endorsement had a lot of weight.  I think people now think of such endorsements as union endorsements, and not as professional endorsements.  Police associations need to get back to being perceived as being professional organizations.  If they are to regain their influence that’s the first thing they need to work on.

    • Real big Talk from someone who Doesnt wear the uniform . Dont Like it …………TOO BAD ! We will always put our families first . If it offends you that much then go take the test . you and I both know that you wont . that oath you just read is full of qualities you dont possess , so sit back and keep drinking the Mayors Kool aid

    • And when they get jobs at APD, that will be the community they will serve. Or do you think that police officers are taking an oath to never change employers? You want them to be more like public sector employees? Well this is part of that, buddy.

    • I have been shot at, seriously wounded numerous times fighting with violent suspects, was exposed to the blood of a violent hiv positive suspect and had to take the hiv cocktail for 6 months before I knew I had not contracted hiv, wrestled with a mentally ill person trying to take my gun with no provocation, shown up for court numerous times to testify after working my midnite shift then going back to work that night with a couple hours of lousy sleep, tried to comfort the parents of parents who discovered their newborn infant had died of natural causes for no apparent reason, and missed numerous milestones of my own children, all in the name of upholding my oath to the citizens of San Jose. I am no exception to any other police officer in San Jose. How dare you, Mr. Galt, say that any of us are sulking because we want to take care of our own families and do what is best for them. Unfortunately, you represent the mindset of of most of our city council and our mayor, and many of are taking your advice and getting out, and going to places that appreciate us upholding our oath and have not betrayed promises made over the years and publicly referred to their officers as cancers, as this mayor has done.

    • John “Galt” before you post any more on this topic please acquaint yourself with Galt/Rand’s philosophy. If you had any inkling of “objectivism” and subscribe to it, then you would be applauding Unland, the SJPOA and any City Employee who opts to take his/her training and experience to trade their services with the the employer who is going to pay the most.

      “I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
                          – (The “real”) John Galt

      • Jim Unland and every single government public employee union member IS asking “another man to live for mine” (theirs). They’ve got the first half of your quote right but not the second.
        The angry and indignant attitude of San Jose’s police and fire employees is precisely the sort of thing that was going on in the dystopian world of Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. The smug sense of entitlement exhibited by those in government and moochers dependent on government programs is precisely what Galt refused to live his life in support of.
        Public employee unions did not exist when Ayn Rand wrote that novel, but if he were “alive” today, John Galt would be shaking his head knowingly at the conflicted loyalties that are their inevitable result.

        • What is this “smug sense of entitlement?”  To be compensated at a mutually agreed upon level certainly comes with an expectation that the City (it residents) is entitled to the work that its employees provide and those employees expect to be compensated/paid the agreed upon contracted amount. Both sides are absolutely “entitled” to that which was agreed to. It’s called “honor.” Since when is “honor”  smug?

          What is “smug” is the fact that Mayor Reed and a Majority of the council went outside of the “contract” and asked the voters to change the City Charter to unilaterally impose what the compensation package should be.  They appealed to the voters by striking a cord with some basic human flaws: pettiness, jealousy selfishness…

          It is even more clear that you do not fully understand Rand’s philosophy as relayed through Galt.  Police and Fire are slowly figuring this facet of objecitivism out: the “Doctrine of Sacrifice”  and individual existence are not compatible. You expect that police and firefighters “sacrifice” their life for yours – they are after all “public servants.”  Maybe you don’t expect them or want them to die for you but you certainly expect them to do the dirty work to keep you and yours safe 24/7/365. The “public servant” descriptor that so many “Galts out there” like to label public employees with implies that the employees are at worst slaves or indentured servants condemned to work for nothing and at best inferior to the tax payer and entitled to no more than the minimum wage …

          That may work well for you but not so well for the cop or firefighter or their families. Remember the recent SJI article that broke down where your tax dollars are spent. It alleged that less than $300 of your total annual tax bill pays for police/fire – most people spend more on their cell phone every month than they pay for police/fire services.) Unland and every single gov’t employee is figuring this out “you” don’t pay enough!  It wasn’t enough before but they still opted to “sacrifice.”
          They have since learned that the sacrifice for voters who are less than grateful is foolish and does not benefit them at all – pure “Galt.”

        • Through careless inattention the people have allowed the size and structure of our government to get out of hand. It’s not public employees who need to be concerned about becoming indentured servants. Rather, the entire private sector has become the slave- serving the Frankenstein’s monster of an insatiable master that we’ve allowed our Government to become.

        • Well I certainly seem to have captured YOUR undivided attention SoSo. Perhaps somewhere deep within the recesses of your narrow mind you sense the spark of truth in what I say and it fascinates you. Maybe, just maybe, an entire world of different ideas exists outside the PC echo chamber in which you live.
          Anyway, it doesn’t kill you to listen. They’re only words.

  8. Keep up the great work Jim,  You care about the officers their families.  If they can find better employment then go for it.  Family does comes first but doesn’t mean they do care about citizens in San Jose.

    Problem is Chuck could care about you and your family and pay check,  so if you can improve your living conditions good for you.  When chuck is paying a police consultant 119,000 to do nothing that should tell you all you need.

    And if any SJ resident said they would not take another job and better benefits to support their family they are lying as much as Chuck and his clowns.  Do not blame the officers, it is called the quality of life.

    Thanks Chuck, homicide #5 today and we are not even out of Feb, what does your consultant have to say about that.

  9. And it is not just officers, hope you read todays article on police dispatchers facing the same problems and how understaffed they are and having to work OT and 14 hr days.

  10. I too am a local political consultant, and what this demonstrates to me is that The Absolutist Reed cares more about the billable hours he directs toward the contract lawyers defending his position on measure B, than the safety of anyone else.
    Why would he care? He has armed protection on demand and will move out of is city the minute he terms out.
    He is the Absolutist. When he doesn’t get his way, he will leave.

  11. Mayor still saying he going to fight to get Measure B in place.  Cops leaving as quick as they can.  This force will not grow for decades…. not till the majority of council has been replaced.

  12. So what IS the answer to this problem? Should tax paying citizens continue to suffer increased crime, violence, burglaries, shootings, and death of their loved ones?

    Should our first responders continue to be short staffed, be shot at, and get injured while they lose their homes, and struggle to support their families?

    The way things are going, there are no winners. I think the time has come to find a solution, and stop all the finger pointing, don’t you?

    • The bleeding of employees…ALL employees is not going to stop until this mayor is out of office. There is no trust. The problem will never be corrected until he is off ruining something else and out of city office.

    • They are paid to save your a**, not to kiss it.
      They are angry the sheeple have allowed The Absolutist to unabashedly lie without consequence or accountability. It is time for citizens to act on their outrage and demand more out of their leadership.
      The cops and firemen didn’t create this mess. Don’t expect them to be complacent when dealing with the uninformed public.

      A society at odds with its police better learn to make friends with its criminals.

      • what savings is there shooting everyone, there is knee’s.  and yes i paid 100k in taxes respect it.
        yes if i had the money and the police auditor was not in bed with police there would be a huge lawsuit, for the way i was treated, and i did nothing wrong ever(check records) oh set me up give me a ticket(reed)
        there was one cop in San jose well 2, one an older guy who rode a horse, did night duty at toons, best policeman ever-met, the 2nd an older cop at sjsu ,these were cops of 80-90s who cared! none of this rambo BS.  another while walking on a trail there was a drunk/dead man.  I went to the dog park where someone had a phone, called the police and 4 mounted came, they cave me more hassle then the drunk, 50yards down the trail right under 280, they seemed not to understand nor have a grasp of English.
        and yes they did create this mess taking home 500k plus in the end. tons of ot.  money the city does not have, let them leave.  I have no issue with homeless, not thugs, i do them no wrong, and they the same!  Hey its not just thew cops look at scvwd golden spigot, the rob more than 300mill every year on waste , gazebo’s , secret payoffs etc.
        maybe if the cops and managers learned not to lie and treat people with respect there would be no issue.  and yes must workers at scvwd/police did not create the problem but keep following the leaders.
        police racial videos
        SCVWD LIES
        ETC. ETC.

        • Cool. Now we all know where you stand. Next time you have a problem, why don’t you call some of your criminal friends, and not the cops that you disdain so much.

  13. Kathleen , totally agree with you . Problem is Public Safety will continue to leave because of what the Mayor, Council and Residents have done to them . Everyone wants P.D./F.D. there when they call ……………..but are unwilling to pay for the service. So why wouldnt they leave? For things to change Pay and Benes have to be comparable to other citys and we definetly are NOT , Not even close . Heres a solution , Lets hold all negotiations Open to the Public !  Guess who would never allow that ? Name rhymes with GREED …………… there is no other way because quite simply City workers Do Not Trust This Mayor, This City Manager or This Council


      If San Jose residents are “unwilling to pay for the service” where is the tax break San Jose residents are enjoying compared with residents in surrounding cities with adequate police protection?  As far as I can tell we pay just as much in taxes as friends and family living in these other cities.  The difference is San Jose’s dysfunctional city councils, which have made too many bad decisions in land use and the allocation of resources over the years.  Even now the current city council largely ignores the public safety crisis and only promises to one day study the issue.


      Public negotiations are a good idea, but what can be done in the meantime? Here’s my concern, I am on a neighborhood blog called Nextdoor, and I’ve been reading the Police Blotter. I am seeing victims of crime taking the law into their own hands and getting injured.

      One of my neighbors and his wife did something very reckless. The husband came home to find a robber in his bedroom, so he chased the guy outside with a knife! He chased him to a stolen get away car, with a 12 year old “look out” in the car. He cut the robber’s throat, and the 12 year old was crying and saying, “please don’t kill my brother!”

      So after cutting the throat of the robber, the husband cut the tires of the get away car. His wife drove up, and saw what was going on so she CHASED the robber down the street! NO ONE called the Police! During the chase, the wife flagged down a Police Officer, but it was too late, the robber and his 12 year old brother had fled.

      When I went on the blog and asked that citizens call the Police instead of taking the law into their own hands, I was dog piled by people who disagreed.

      A few weeks later, I read that a woman and her daughter heard someone outside breaking into their car. They opened the door, and started screaming at the car vandals. The vandals charged into their home and beat them up. They escaped. The guys chased them and beat them up again, after assaulting them they returned to the house and robbed it. AGAIN, they didn’t call the Police until it was too late.

      We all know about the maintenance man who is in jail for murder for killing a car burglar. He took a life over property theft!

      The bottom line is that these stories are becoming more and more common, and this has got to stop before more and more people get hurt, or injured, or even killed. 

      I’m in the process of setting up educational forums, but what can we as a City, the Police, and a community do to work together whilst Measure B goes through the courts?

      • Arm yourselves, look out for your neighbors, vote your conscience, and put pressure on your elected officials to take the deterioration of San Jose’s community safety seriously. This is the reality of what we in public safety warned would happen if reed pursued political ambition for a higher office on the backs of city employees and the community.

        • SJFF,

          I understand your position, and yes it is true that we were “warned,” by public safety servants about this possibility. But what about those of us, like me, my family, my neighbors, and thousands of citizens who voted NO on Measure B? What about innocent citizens who are truly suffering increased crime, and are really frightened by the rise in crime?

          Doesn’t it concern you one bit that innocent, law abiding, tax paying citizens are taking the law into their owns hands and are getting hurt, injured, or even killed? Seriously, all you have to say is “Arm yourselves, look out for your neighbors, vote your conscience, and put pressure on your elected officials to take the deterioration of San Jose’s community safety seriously.”

          What about your fellow Officers, and Fire Fighters who are getting hurt, injured, shot at, working overtime, and becoming exhausted, and disabled because you guys are taking such a heartless stand on an issue, pension reform? Measure B is in the courts hands now! So again, what do we do in the meantime? Allow this to just happen so you can all sit back and say I told you so?

          And where in this situation are you taking personal responsibility for failing to educate the public on pension reform before things got this bad? You guys share in the blame as much as our City leaders do. You failed to get out there during the good times and educate the public on the issue. So please find a way to do the right thing now, and that is assist citizens in how to protect themselves and their businesses in a safe and sane way.

        • “you guys are taking such a heartless stand on an issue, pension reform”  Really, Kathleen??? We took a huge paycut to save jobs. We haven’t had a raise in years. We offered numerous times to negotiate with the city on pension reform and was shut down. What a silly statement.

        • I’m sorry Kathleen, I took you to be sincere when you asked what you should do. I was sincerely telling you in my response. I’m really not sure what you want from me, a magic answer that fixes all your woes? And we did, SJFD and SJFD spend our time, money, and effort attempting to educate the public prior to the vote. So please don’t lecture me, take some personal responsibility for yourself. What did YOU do? You are always attempting to split the difference, claiming its everybodies fault equally. Maybe that sounds good to you, but it is a slap in the face to those of us that serve you. It is NOT everybodies fault. It is the council, the mayor, and the city managers fault for not accepting the pension reform proposal that we put forward. It is the citizens of San Jose’s responsibility to make sure your elected officials are representing your best interests. If you feel they are, then stop complaining. If you are unhappy with how they are running the city, do something about it. But coming on here and whining to me about being heartless just makes you sound like you aren’t willing to do that. Best of luck to you.

        • Exactly. She lectures me on my brothers and sisters suffering, as if I was a spectator. I am living it. To her it is a bunch of words to try and make a point. Now that it is happening to people she knows and it’s not abstract,it’s a crisis. It has NEVER been abstract to us. It is our daily grind. We did our part, and our position on measure B is not heartless. It is super simple. Break a legal contract, expect to go to court. We will not negotiate now. That time has come and gone. I will not apologize for wanting what was legally and contractually promised to me.

        • BOHCIA,

          1.) We’re on the SAME side remember? You are preaching to the choir! I ALWAYS have and will continue to treat public safety servants with respect, dignity, and honor.

          2.) You asked, “Where was the 83% of the voting population of San Jose when measure B was on the ballot?”

          Good question! When you get an answer let me know will you? I have worked to register voters for years. You want to talk about being frustrated?

          I have talked, until I’m blue in the face, about how ignorant people are when they vote on issues they are uneducated about, or who don’t vote on vital issues that affect them! Honestly, it is mind boggling to me.

          3.) The truth is, if more of our public servants LIVED in San Jose, may be the vote would have turned out much differently.

          4.) The Unions have had ample opportunity to educate the public on pension reform, salaries, and benefits. The Murkey News is NOT the only news source in San Jose, but you could have put an ad in their paper, or the Metro, and held a public informational meeting. (I hold community educational meetings all the time, it really is not that difficult.)

          There is Facebook, Twitter, Utube, social media, FREE PSAs, etc. The money you guys poured into campaign elections was more than enough to pay for fliers, promos, TV ads, prior to these Measures. 

          5.) Every year, for the past 4 years, I have personally sent out scholarship applications to the SJPOA, and Fire Dept. We have over 6 THOUSAND dollars to give out. NOT ONE SINGLE application was filled out by ANY ONE OF YOU or your families….
          Why is that?

          6.) You say, “Firefighters and Police Officers were getting hurt and injured from thinly stretched resources LONG before this battle.”

          My question to you is, was this kept from the public because you were receiving better pay and benefits before these Measures?

          Why are WE just hearing about this NOW? How come YOUR Union leaders weren’t complaining about this years ago?

          7.) I have let them lose their homes? I really don’t think so. I called both Chief Moore, and Chief McDonald and offered to bring EXPERTS into your departments for FREE to help SAVE your homes and provide you with resources. They were very kind to me, and thanked me for my offer, but said the City already provides you with these types of resources.

          The bottom line for me keeps coming back to one thing and one thing only, and it is this, punishing us, the public, and your fellow Officers/Firefighters for something you don’t like lacks honor, dignity, and is just plain inexcusable.

          You guys act like you are the only ones who can’t afford to pay your bills, who worry about sending your kids to college, or worry about how you are going to feed your families! Well think again, because even on unemployment, you earn more than the average person/family in San Jose.

        • Nobody is “punishing” you Kathleen. The fact that you think we are, shows how little,despite all your statements to the contrary, you understand us. We are doing our very best, with decreasing resources. Take your anger out on the people who allocate resources. Guess what? It ain’t us. It’s your elected officials. Talk to them. Because frankly your just complaining to us.  We don’t have the power to do anything now but have our day in court.

        • Officer Z,

          The only ones you are hurting is yourself, and the public. You aren’t hurt Mayor Reed one bit.

          You said, “Frankly I am not interested one iota in mediating anything and I will settle for nothing left than his complete and total political demise.”

          Well, since our Mayor isn’t a career politician, your wish will never come true.

          You said, “You want blame?? Call Chuck.”

          No, I’m not looking to place blame on anyone or anything. There is enough blame to go around a million times.

          What I want is for everyone to work together for the betterment of our community. That wish includes the safety and well being of our first responders and their families.

        • We proposed a solution. A REAL solution. The numbers were FAR better than anything your elected officials came up with. They opted for measure b instead. We are now going to court. It’s really as simple as that. We are still doing our jobs, just less people and resources. Sorry if you don’t like how it’s working out. WE ARE DOING THE BEST WE CAN!!

        • SJFF,

          I have read post after post for over a year now about how the public was going to be punished if we didn’t vote our City into bankruptcy by voting no on Measures that cut pensions.

          Well, you certainly have kept your promise haven’t you? People are dying, being robbed, criminals are tying up seniors, beating them, stealing everything they worked so hard for. That’s not something I’d be very proud of but that’s just me.

          If you truly care about serving the public then start by working with everyone, and start by realizing that you guys aren’t the only ones suffering from this economy.

          Everyone is cutting back and going without, but what they aren’t doing is coming on a public blog crying about the injustice of it all.

        • Wish in one hand and ..well you know in the other. Anything you wish will happen, won’t.

          Officers are frustrated and hurt and only want one thing besides what they tell you or type. They want retribution against Chuck and Deb.


          save your mediation tactics for someone else.

        • Actually, that is exactly what you spend your time here doing. Blaming us for correctly predicting the outcome of measure b now makes us responsible for that outcome? So you have had a year of us warning you what would happen, and now that it is happening our correct predictions make it OUR fault? Do you not see the insanity in what you are saying? You insult every single one of us by saying that we are causing this. You are no a friend to public safety, you stand for nothing, you make no judgements, you wring your hands and speak in platitudes. Why don’t you just come out and say you blame us for measure b? It comes across in all your posts, I’d prefer honesty to false declarations of sympathy and support. Take a side, because lines have been drawn here. I’m not going to indulge your moral relativism about everyone being at fault.

        • And yes, unlike our employers, we do keep our promises. The promise to serve and protect you and your family, to the best of our abilities. I dare you to find me one post where a cop or ff said they would intentionally do otherwise…..

        • observation,

          Let us put some real life perspective on something here. My Father was a lifer in the military. I guess that is why I love, respect, and honor public servants so much. Any way, like you, my Father put his life on the line for millions of Americans.

          My Father served in 3 senseless wars, watched children, the elderly, families, and his buddies die. His take home pay was poverty level, he wasn’t able to buy a home until he left the military, and got a job in the private sector. His health care was substandard. I’d venture to say it was worse than people on public aid.

          We lived in horrible Army Housing, wore hand me downs, didn’t have much in the way of toys, or anything else, other than each other.

          My Dad was gone all the time serving his country, so like you, he missed out on holidays, Birthdays, deaths, births, Anniversaries, etc.

          When he left the military, he got a small pension which no one could survive on, he was deaf, and had injuries that he never spoke of. He saw horrible things in war, and suffered from PTSD.

          He’d wake up at night, when he could actually go to sleep, crying, and shaking. But you know what he never did? He never complained or took one thing he had for granted.

          During a bombing in WW11, my Mother was buried alive. All of her families wealth was stolen from them. They were dirt poor. She married my Dad and came to America, and loved this country more than American born citizens.

          So what is my point? My Father, and millions of other Vets did more for less and never complained about it. If you look how we treat these war heroes today, right this minute, you’d have to agree that life, the public, and our government doesn’t treat you heroes the way it should. That deeply saddens me.

          Regardless of the cards they were dealt, one thing my parents did do was teach us to have compassion and care about one another. And while it may not seem like it to you, I do care. I care about people dying and getting injured in our City. I care that our public servants are suffering, and I care that money, and budgets are the cause of it.

          In my opinion, there is just no excuse for turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the suffering of others. I will do what I can to try and make things better, and I hope you will too.

          Thank you for your service, and please be safe out there.

        • SJFF,

          I gather you’re a Firefighter right? So when you are standing there putting out a fire, or breathing the life back into someone, are you focused on your job, or the reason for the fire, or that victim’s eating, or life style habits that made them sick?

          I’d have to assume you are focused on the immediate danger, and trying to resolve it right? Well that is where I stand right now. People are getting hurt, including Police and Fire, I want to focus on a solution, not waste time arguing about things I have no control over.

          And BTW- I have lobbied for Police/Fire for years now. I have and do my part.

        • “The bottom line for me keeps coming back to one thing and one thing only, and it is this, punishing us, the public, and your fellow Officers/Firefighters for something you don’t like lacks honor, dignity, and is just plain inexcusable”.

            That statement is ignorant and without merit.  You have eliminated ALL credibility.  We are punishing you by working? By maintaining our 8 minute response times as best we can? You are ungrateful and ignorant of what we do.  Your claims of alignment with the Fire and Police are self-serving and naive. Your last statement shows your absolute disdain and disregard for what we are worth.  I retract my statements directed toward you……good luck with whatever you choose.  You deserve it.

        • Nah, you come on here and attempt to blame us for our position on measure b, saying its our fault that our brothers and sisters are getting hurt. How dare you. You ain’t on our side, and I’m not going to let you get any mileage out of saying so. Your like the politician that wants photo ops with cops and firefighters election year, and then wants nothing to do with us. Go peddle your nonsense elsewhere, we see you coming a mile away.

        • SJFF,

          If you’re going to speak for me at least get it right! I’m not saying your stand on Measure B is heartless, I am saying your attitude toward the results of reduced services in the community is.

          And please don’t condescend to say that I have walked around in La La Land untouched by the suffering of others, like you are the only one who helps those in need because that couldn’t be further from the truth.

          And just so you have you facts straight I voted NO on Measure B, and worked hard to educate others on Measure B.

        • Really?  all this distress on your part is because suddenly it’s real for you? What do you want Kathleen, a hug? Someone to say that we are sorry? We haven’t done anything to be sorry for, or apologize to you for.  You need to realize that you are on here speaking to people who see this stuff for a living, and usually citizens like you are shielded from it intruding into your little bubble of happiness. Well the bubble has broken, and now you want what? Sympathy? Tears? This is REALITY, and if you want to restore service levels you can go back to pretending it doesn’t exist. Until then, adjust your comfort level, there are no other options for you.

        • SJFF,
          THANK YOU! I know you you offered a better deal than was taken by the City.  And NO, you are NOT doing the best you can!

          As long as you have an us and them mentality NO ONE will win, and everyone is and will lose!

        • I hope everybody reading his sees you for the out of touch person that you are. You realize your credibility is beyond zero with anyone in uniform here right?

        • SJFF,

          You don’t have to agree to the cause of this mess. You can attack me personally, falsely accuse me of saying things I’m not, and you can twist everything I’m saying if you’d like, BUT, that doesn’t change or resolve the problem now does it?

          Innocent citizens are dying, getting hurt, robbed, raped, and killed. Officers are getting hurt, injured, and losing their homes. So WHAT IS your solution? Are we all supposed to stand around screaming about Measure B, or do something about it?

        • We are going to court. Like I said, negotiations are over. That ship has sailed. Everyone seems to have grasped that but you.

        • Kathleen,

          What was said was that if this measure passed, officers would flee this city. That wasn’t a threat, just reality. That is exactly what has transpired. It is pretty sad that you say we are now punishing citizens by allowing them to be killed, robbed, etc etc. What a bunch of utter nonsense.

        • What saddens me, Kathleen, is you fail to see the irony of your comparisons. How our society poorly treats our military veterans, as a whole, is exactly how this city in particular is treating it’s police officers. What is a double whammy is how many of our police officers are war veterans and now they are getting crapped on twice. We have done “more for less” for years without complaint. I guess you don’t think we are entitled to complain when Measure B will take away 46% of our income, but so be it. Maybe you can tell the officer whom a suspect repeatedly tried to run over last night on a car stop just how greedy and self serving he is.

        • Yes, Kathleen, actually we should scream about Measure B. It is the precise reason we are in this mess of citizens and officers getting hurt and killed. Measure B is the exact reason 150 officers have resigned in the past year or so. Measure B, if implemented, will cause hundreds more to leave, including those in the academy. There is no second tier for anyone to opt into because the IRS has never given approval for such. That is exactly due to Measure B. Should we stick our heads in the sand and pretend it is some other reason?

        • Kathleen, I understand your frustration.  I understand your concern, and I understand your desire to find a fast, mutually agreeable solution.
            Where was the 83% of the voting population of San Jose when measure B was on the ballot?  Why did Measure V and W get NO OPPOSING Press from the San Jose Mercury News? As you can see, in EVERY article the SJMN prints regarding Pension Reform….they use the terminology “overwhelming voter support”.  What avenue of information do you suggest the 1565 (total number) of men and women in Police and Fire, who defend and protect all 1 million of you, use?  Should they be responsible for paying for it?  Firefighters and Police Officers were getting hurt and injured from thinly stretched resources LONG before this battle.  Why the interest in them now?  Heartless Stand on an issue?  YOU ARE THEIR EMPLOYER!!!  You have let them lose their homes, take their kids out of college, and forced them to look for other work.  Who is heartless?  Are you only interested in them (not you personally, I know how you take things through experience) because it affects you?
            Do you not think THEY pay taxes?  Union Dues?  Medical Insurance? Daycare? Do you not think that THEy are concerned about their own families while they are on patrol?  Working a 24 Hour shift?
            They are ALL consummate professionals, doing the best they can in a hostile work environment, hostile employment environment, walking a financial tightrope, and having to explain to YOU why they seem a bit upset at the way things are going.  Treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve, and you will get it back 10-fold.  They have shown THAT when we were one of the safest cities in America.

        • Exactly Kathleen. we are going to wait and say I told you so. It is the least that Reed deserves. he certainly does not deserve anything more. While he alone could have stepped up, he didn’t. he played chicken. We called him on it. Now it is time to watch the crash and watch him try to spin this mess.

          Trust is gone and the only thing left that feels good is “hey. I told you so.”

          You want blame?? Call Chuck. Frankly I am not interested one iota in mediating anything and I will settle for nothing left than his complete and total political demise.

  14. The Mercury Rag, I mean News, ran an article on this topic today. In this article, Alex Gurza, who is a mouthpiece who works for City Hall, is quoted as saying that San Jose PD is still a great place to work and very comparable to Austin PD as far as pay and benefits. Look closer Alex and you will see while the pay is about the same, Austin police officers aren’t paying 25% (soon to be 43%) of their gross paycheck back to the city for retirement, and the median cost of a house is a quarter of what it is in San Jose. I wish I could take credit for it, but one of the comments in reply to Mercury article was beautifully put, and dead on accurate: 

    “Good for the SJPD POA, kudos for supporting your officer’s interest’s you represent. There’s more accurate facts in the comments section than this article. The writers for this paper are not printing the full story or keeping it balanced. The writers for this rag won’t be happy until they’ve taken away everything illegally from all the city workers. The true facts and circumstances in this catastrophe doesn’t seem to matter to the Mercury News, Pete Constant, Chuck Reed or Alex Gurza. Why does this paper continue to quote such a hypocrite moron like Pete Constant, he was a total failure as a 10 year cop and in a city leadership role. He is soaking the heck out of the city public. Gurza, you’re an uninformed puppet that both lies and spews out misinformation to the sheep public. As for the Mercury News, keep spinning everything the way Reed and his fellow morons want the minority of people in this city to think, it’s really working out well isn’t it? As for the POA and the officers looking for stable work, fair compensation and good morale, good luck and be safe. For all the SJPD and San Jose City workers that are being demonized I wish you the best and do what’s right for your families, the people like Fred Bock don’t give a damn. Fred Bock, get your facts right or maybe get some guts and go apply for the 100’s of job openings at the SJPD you coward. You’re just good at running off at the mouth behind your computer keyboard. As to the people of San Jose, wise up and get your information from any other news source.”

  15. Not sure exactly how encouraging members to be ex-members that leaves the remaining membership at higher risk is what is doing what’s best for members. 

    It is clear the Police department has a morale problem and blames not only the Mayor but the general public as well.  Its a shame they don’t take their share of the responsibility for the situation.  The practice of promoting to pad pensions leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the public and is a big part of the reason so many voters supported Reed’s measures.  Police should be partners with the citizens yet they seem to have total disdain for the public and are virtually encouraging criminals to run rampant with their we-won’t-be-there-to-protect-you-and-its-your-fault-because-of-the-votes attitude.  Its very short sighted and puts officers in danger and harms way. 

    I don’t want our city any less safe but I also don’t want disgruntled and unappreciative armed officers on the streets.  Maybe its better there is a parting of the ways with those officers who don’t want to be here or feel under appreciated.  It will be a messy and difficult transition for the city and the officers who remain but in the end they will be people who choose to be here and who the public can trust and respect. 

    I feel sorry for the officers who get up each and every day who are in harm’s way and get painted with the same paintbrush.  The police department deserves the respect of the citizen’s they serve and protect but they also must earn and retain that respect.

    • Aware D5,

      I would have to agree with much of what you’ve said. I fully support our public servants, and I do understand that they have families to feed, and bills to pay. We all do, but to leave their fellow Officers in a bind, and short staffed, and citizens to fend for themselves really doesn’t seem right to me.

      I’m torn because I don’t think anyone should suffer because of money, or politics. I also don’t think that the City has negotiated in “good faith,” but I also don’t think the Unions have done their very best either.

      Also, some, and I mean some members of the Council, and the community have acted very badly towards law enforcement and fire fighters. I really don’t understand why either. I voted no on Measure B because I believe it is poorly written, and is illegal, but I also know that pension reform is necessary.

      Having said that, I am very concerned about the way our City leaders, both past and present, spend tax payer money. Like it or not, Mayor Reed voiced his concerns about these expenditures way back when he first became a Council Member. He voted against many projects and was dubbed, “The lone Council Member,” for it, so why people are acting like this concern being expressed by Mayor Reed is new boggles my mind. He has always expressed concern about overspending, and the budget from day one.

      I also see overpaid higher ups who should be taking cuts, not raises. I still see money being out into projects/programs it shouldn’t be. This needs to stop.

      The bottom line for me is this, if we don’t start working together, we are all going to suffer for it. Criminals are taking full advantage of our lack of Police/Fire services, and citizens are taking the law into their own hands and getting injured, and even killing people over property thefts. This is an undeniable fact that should concern everyone involved.

      I personally feel that the SJPOA needs to step up to the plate and protect citizens while they fight this battle. To do less than that is inexcusable. It makes it very difficult for citizens like myself to continue supporting law enforcement when they are basically saying, it is me and mine before all of us. As Dr. King once said,” We may have all come over here on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now.”

      • “I personally feel that the SJPOA needs to step up to the plate and protect citizens while they fight this battle. To do less than that is inexcusable. It makes it very difficult for citizens like myself to continue supporting law enforcement when they are basically saying, it is me and mine before all of us.”

        Kathleen, no officer is doing any less than this. State one example if you know otherwise. What officer is saying “it is me and mine before all of us”? What is really frustrating is agreeing to a 10% pay cut, and other huge concessions, only to be accused of being greedy by the community.

        • observation,

          It is true that you have taken big hits in pay, and in benefits. I thank you for your sacrifices, I honestly do.

          In answer to your question:“What officer is saying “it is me and mine before all of us”?

          Read some of the comments on this blog. The answer is pretty clear.

          You said, “What is really frustrating is agreeing to a 10% pay cut, and other huge concessions, only to be accused of being greedy by the community.”

          I agree, it isn’t fair, and people who say that are idiots. You men/women put your lives on the line for us everyday, and you deserve better. I’m deeply sorry you are going through that.

          I have several friends in the private sector who have given decades of service to businesses who are dumping them for younger, cheaper labor. They don’t have pensions, retirement, 401Ks, or much of anything else to lean on.

          The economy is to blame for everything we are going through, and if we are to survive, we simply have to help one another through this.

        • Nope. There is no US. There is you, and there is us. We got no support from city hall, or the voters. We are going to do our jobs, but in terms of our contracts and our ability to feed our families there will be no kumbaya circle. Frankly most of us don’t care what you think about us anymore, it’s way past that.

        • SJFF,

          You said,“Frankly most of us don’t care what you think about us anymore, it’s way past that.”

          That is really clear to me and the public, and perhaps that is why SOME people no longer have respect for public servants.

        • You can’t treat us the way that you have and expect any less. Look back at your manipulative commentary and understand why.

      • That was very insulting. You do not have to tell us to step up to the plate. The citizens ARE being protected, as best as is possible, while the battle is being fought, and for you to even hint that they are not, is disconcerting. If you feel like it is becoming difficult to support law enforcement, then join the others…so be it. We are use to it by now. Next.

    • “Police should be partners with the citizens yet they seem to have total disdain for the public and are virtually encouraging criminals to run rampant with their we-won’t-be-there-to-protect-you-and-its-your-fault-because-of-the-votes attitude.”

      Making such a statement shows how oblivious you are to the cases that officers, dedicated to this city, make on a daily basis putting hard core and violent felons in prison.

      There is a morale problem and there are disgruntled officers, yet they work their butts off to try and keep the citizens safe. These are officers that have taken massive paycuts, lost homes and families, and now face the prospect of paying over 40% of their salary back to the city because some citizens of this city passed Measure B. This job is a pressure cooker to begin with even with an adequate amount of officers, and our staffing is less than half of what it should be. The officers are only human, and they now have the prospect of losing whatever they have left. If what they have done up till now hasn’t earned respect under these conditions, and the serious crime they solve with a skeleton staff,there is nothing they can do that will. No other city has these problems with officer morale, and it is not that are officers are so different, but that our city management has very poor people management skills.

      • observation,

        You might not like what Aware D5 is saying, but that IS how some of the posts are coming across. People who have spoken their truth are being personally attacked, their words are being twisted, and this blog is becoming dominated by public servants.

        A lot of good, caring people who were here way longer than you have left, or won’t comment because they are being attacked just because they don’t agree with your perceptions. (Not you literally.) 

        No one is saying what you are going through is easy. No one can possibly understand what you are going through either because we are not Cops. And if you think we don’t sympathize with you, you are very mistaken, but we have the same right to express ourselves that you do, without being treated with disrespect.

        And BTW- I agree 100% with your statement, “No other city has these problems with officer morale, and it is not that are officers are so different, but that our city management has very poor people management skills.”

        All other cities negotiated in good faith with their employees. That is why I agree with and support the idea of public negotiations.

        • “A lot of good, caring people who were here way longer than you have left, or won’t comment because they are being attacked just because they don’t agree with your perceptions.”

          Well, actually, I have been following San Jose Inside since its inception, so I am not sure how that is possible for someone to have been here way longer.

        • Kathleen I hope you can hear the frustration with many city employees.  Remember Reed lied about 650m shortfall. The Mercury did nothing about this and passed it off. NBC bay area, caught the mayor in a lie. But most people do not seem to care. 

          I came to SJPD because in 1984 it had a national reputation as being the model police department in the country.  Numerous programs were developed here in SJ. And many programs were used as a national model for policing. SJPD had this reputation right up until REED took over and dismantled the PD.  I wrote a gang prevention program that other calif cities still use. but in SJ the Mayor got rid of it along with intervention gang programs.  You see the cops loved working here and SJ got the best of the best nationwide.  That will not happen now.  And things have gotten so bad it is not fixable.  the training experience of officers that SJ lost will take decades to repair.  Officers will get hired here and then immediately look for a new job.  Its like that in Oakland right now.  No Cop that has new ideas and is a leader wants to continue to work for a PD that is backwards and does not have the resources and manpower to do good things.  There are other programs that i was involved in that only a few dept nationwide had even considered.  Reed got rid of all this.  This is why crime is up.  this is why the cops are leaving…  this is the biggest exodus of police officers ever in USA history. And they are leaving because these are the cream of the crop of people and they think the mayor and council are corrupt and lie.  The officers share in no blame for this problem ….it was created on lies by the mayor…. ive been retired for two years.  my city pension fund from SJ is very healthy.. My state Pension fund makes 13% last year and is healthy too…  dont believe these part time politicians…

    • I can tell you that officers DO NOT have disdain for the law-abiding residents of San Jose.  To the contrary, officers feel frustrated that the once great SJPD has been weakened to the point that we are no longer able the level of service they deserve.  Great arrests are still made on a regular basis by officers who truly care.  As far as the POA is concerned, their efforts at providing members with information and options only reflect the concerns of those members.  If Reed has his way, 46% of officers’ pre-Measure B paychecks will soon be going somewhere than the officers’ pockets.  Who could survive that?  Officers are truly and legitimately concerned about keeping their homes and providing for their families.  Many do not want to wait until its too late and bills are going unpaid.  He POA is only serving its members.


    I aspired to work for the San Jose Fire Department. I dreamed about working
    for the SJFD. Welcome to the “big leagues”, one
    of the proudest days of my professional life. I went to college,
    worked for years as a private ambulance company
    Paramedic, just to get a shot at a job with the City. Firefighting is a proud profession, steeped in tradition. I wanted to be part of that, “to serve and protect”. I earned the job and was more than happy to get it. I had othe career opportunities and other fire department job offers. I chose SJFD because I felt that they chose me.
    I was promised a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. I was promised that I would be able to support my family, buy a modest house and have a secure retirement. That was 20 years ago. I am now broken in both body and spirit. I have given much and now much will be taken away from me. Promises were broken and lies were told by my employer. We used to be “rock stars” in the eyes of the public, ready, willing and able to save the day. Chuck, PLO, Pete, Sam, Madison, Debra Figone and Alex Gurza have vilified us to the people that we serve. The job is no longer fun. All we have are each other.
    We will always do our best to help you, because if we can’t, there’s nobody else that’s going to show up to make everything ok.

    Private ambulance has always been seen as a “stepping stone” towards a fire department career. Do you know that if Measure B is fully implemented, that a SJFD Captain (4 ranks above firefighter), will bring home the same amount
    of money as a private ambulance paramedic in Santa Clara County? What that means is that a SJFD Firefighter/paramedic will bring
    Home MUCH less than an ambulance paramedic. With this scenario in play, where do you think we will be able to recruit firefighters from? I know personally, at least 30 fire fighters who are seriously pursuing other job options. When San Francisco Fire Department does their next hiring, the floodgates will be wide open. We will lose hundreds of combined years of experience overnight and overtime costs, sick calls and disability will skyrocket.

    Am I bitter? Do I feel like I have been screwed? Hell yes I do! But if I come to your house at 3 a.m. to extinguish your house fire, take care of your infant who had a seizure or to “jump start” your spouse’s heart, you’ll never know how I feel, because
    I’m a professional. I will do my very best, I will hold your hand, speak kind words and instill confidence in you. I do this because regardless of how I may feel, I still care very much for the people that need me and I would never disrespect you the way that my employer has done to me, my family and my brother and sister fire fighters.

    Stay safe San Jose.

  17. Where to start. That damage has been done. The citizen of San Jose voted for measure B. I have only two thing to say to the citizen of San Jose. 

    1) You better pray that a judge gives the employees of the city of San Jose the injunction they are looking for to stop the implementation of measure B. If the judge does not grant the retraining order, you think it’s bad now, you have know idea what CHAOS is.

    2) The mayor, city council and city manager are corrupt, have no integrity, and have sold the citizen the big lie for greed. The distrust is so serve, they won’t even sit at the table to negotiate. They must leave if this city will ever have chance at recovery.

    Death before dishonor.

  18. One more thing, the role of SJPOA is as following,

    1) to protect the pay, benefits and working condition of every police officer.
    2) it is not the responsibility of SJPOA protect officers job’s, that belongs to the city.

    The city said it would lay off 300 hundred officers if it did not get the 10% give back. The city knew the three hundred would vote yes, along with the 150 chiefs, captains, Lt’s and Sgt.‘s to save jobs and maybe get save some face with the public. Well, they laid off 66 officers and those other 144 officers have now left for better jobs. So now the public cries foul, now that officers are leaving. You can’t have both ways.

    The following is the way I see it.

    1) I’m first, I’m #1, protect and take care of myself, because no one else will.
    2) My family, that’s who I live for.
    3) The public

    That’s reality. If you say that’s BS, come and put my badge on and strap a handgun on your hip.

    “Death before dishonor”

  19. 1. Any citizen including Fred Bock should be asking why is this happening only in San Jose. All the other cities have worked it out. Why is San Jose the only one that cannot afford the police?

    2. For those who say let those COPS go we will get new ones in the forthcoming academies that will be more loyal. Wrong why would they stay and work for less? They can go to any other city and make more money have better benefits and pension. The new COPS are already looking to move.

    3. Those that say that the officers or union did not explain their position well enough before the vote of measure B. You have to blame the Mercury for that for painting such a one sided picture.

    4. Those that continue to listen to Gurza and Reed, FIgone and Constant are just sheep. These people have lied over and over to you.

    5. Those that say the COPS did not bargain at the table about pension reform. More lies from Reed and Mercury. The police and fire said they would all move to the State Pension fund. The same one the mayor and council are in. Therefore there would be NO MORE TALK OF PENSION REFORM. Because now it all at the state level. Ask your council why they did not let the police and fire and all the city employees move?

    6. Those that think the cops are the problem or the firemen or the dispatchers :  Check out what a Harvard Professor says…..http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/40902120#40902120

    • Amen

      For those who blame the unions for not getting the word out on Measure B and the fraud perpetrated by the City and the MN, shame on you. They tried but that is not their job. Transparent, honest government and reporting is the job of the City and MN. Cops and FF are not PR specialists and no matter their efforts, the City and MN poisoned the well so terribly that the little funding and ability the unions did have to get the word out could not serve as an effective antidote.

      To those who continue the nasty sentiments of pork fat and other comments—shame on you too. You are likely the same people that are outraged that SS may not be there when you retire even though it was promised and you paid into it—but somehow believe it is perfectly ok to take away these promised and paid for benefits.

  20. Does every scene need anywhere from 5 to 69 police cars.
    most just stand around, there is waste, but you need to start respecting the people that pay you.  hey i did not vote for any measure, but i do know there is tons of pork to trim and the trim can go to your pay.
    I’m sure the city has tons also, so they should be helping also, but we get fee’s till death and taxed to death, the big issue is the bennis/perks and waste the city granted to you and sj, even scvwd the golden spigot, But truly be nice to me, others and many will be nice back.

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