A public safety hearing will be held at 7pm Tuesday evening, after the City Council meeting. At the meeting, soon-to-retire Police Chief Chris Moore is expected to deliver his report on crime in San Jose this year, trends compared to past years and, in particular, how the San Jose Police Department has responded since nine homicides occurred in August.
There are plenty of statistics in the report that show crime is up in 2012 and officers are unable to respond as the department would like.
For instance, the report shows that response times to Priority One crimes, where there is a present or imminent danger to life or major damage/loss of property, “are currently at 6.57 minutes, compared to the target of 6.00 minutes.” Response times to Priority Two crimes, where there is injury or property damage or the potential for either to occur, “have declined to an average of 17.87 minutes, compared to the target of 11.00 minutes.”
A total of 94 positions within the SJPD are currently vacant or unmanned because the officer is on disability, leaving 10.3 percent of all positions unfilled. The chief’s report states that it takes an average of 20 months to train an officer from the Police Academy, meaning there is no quick fix—especially when only 10 percent of candidates were selected in the last recruiting period.
One of the most interesting parts of the report is Attachment A, which breaks down crimes by type and year from 1989 through the first six months of 2012. Rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft are all outpacing last year’s totals if 2012 data is doubled to cover the entire year.
The most staggering totals of all, however, are robberies and vehicle thefts. If the data is extrapolated, robberies in San Jose this year—614 through first half of 2012—will come close to the second highest total of 1,231 in 1992. (There were 1,328 in 1991.) When it comes to vehicle thefts, only the highest total of 7,139 will likely be higher, or slightly lower, than what 2012 brings. (So far, there have been 3,458 vehicle thefts in 2012.)
Data for crime trends nationally and statewide from 2002 through 2010 show crime decreasing in almost all categories year over year.