Public Safety Hearing Won’t be Flattering

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.

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


  1. 94 position short,,, but you did not count all the positions that Figone got rid of. NO burglary unit, no mounted unit, no fraud unit, no auto theft unit, and the list goes on and on.  Almost 1600 officer in 2010 to now under a 1000 I would say your math is bad.

  2. The Mayor and the City Council should be ashamed!  Safest to most dangerous in just two years!  I don’t understand why my family’s safety is less important than a shiny new City Hall or marble in the bathrooms at the airport.  Have you been downtown after dark lately?  You will only make that mistake once.  Safety is the number one responsibility of government!!!!

    • Resident,
      Citizens asked the Mayor and Council to keep libraries and community centers open, so they cut Police services to do it. No one wanted to vote in a very small sales tax to fund public safety, hence what was the City to do? 

      The fact of the matter is, we are in a serious budget deficit. We all need to start pulling together to keep one another safe.

      The SJPOA is doing their part. They are holding a series of community meetings, starting tonight! Please go to this link:

      I have a ton of resources if you need them, just ask! The City has a website with ALL the resources you need. Go to their website and look them up. Most of them are FREE!

      Get involved and get your neighbors involved. That is the only way we are all going to get through this!!!

  3. I am still waiting for a council member to step up with a plan for restoring SJPD so criminals such as burglars and car thieves have a much harder time victimizing San Jose residents.  Instead we have council members promoting themselves with gimmicks to use reserves or deputies, which would do little to offset the tremendous need for more officers.

    • Steve O,
      The SJPOA is holding meetings to assist citizens with how to protect themselves. Please go to this link for more information: You might call them to see when they will be in your district.

      Also, Firehouse and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Association will begin holding resource fairs and BBQs to honor public safety in different districts. Once we get all the Council Members to have them, I will post them on here.

      • I’m sorry Kathleen, but absent widespread issuance of CCW’s and decent training alongside of broad individual gun ownership, It’s like trying to push back the tid with a bucket. I appreciate that various organizations are going to help, but SJPD was just barely able to keep things together as we started to drop below 140 officers. Now, there’s really very little that can be done except triage the worst of what’s going on. Sna Jose will absolutely not see service levels return to that which was historically provided without several hundred more officers added to the rolls and the specter of Measure B removed.

    • October 1st is a big day for Curly. That’s when the big bad POA goes after him for being a member not in good standing.

      When Curly is found guilty, the republican will cry foul on how he was also a victim of union bullying and thuggery.

      Remember Curly, before you get your underwear all bunched up, it’s not personal just business.

  4. Pete Constant made an ass of himself dressing down the Police Chief. Constant is a classless buffoon and it was an embarrassment and disgrace listening to him. His behavior was revolting and disgusting. It is clear Constant has an ax to grind from the days he was a police officer. I don’t blame the Chief one bit for leaving; too bad idiots like Constant drove another good man from this department.

    • observation,

      I was at that study session and left the minute Constant opened his mouth. I could tell by his first question that he was looking to set the Chief up for a beating. I watched the rest of the meeting when I got home. The way he treated the Chief over reserves was outrageous. His grandstanding makes me sick because he is such a hypocrite.

      Thank God he is almost termed out. He is an embarrassment to law enforcement.

  5. Did anyone hear Reed’s quote that intends to “address the retention problem” with the savings from Measure B.”  Ummmmm, it is the imposition of Meaure B that has caused the retention problem.  There is no way to undo the retention problem when other agencies are offering better pay and better benefits, even under the new rules for the PERS system. That has to be one of the most illogical answers ever.

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