Last year it was utility bills. This year, the San Jose Independent Police Auditor’s office has placed signs on more than 100 buses in San Jose, asking residents to reach out if they think a police officer has has broken the law or acted inappropriately.
Judge LaDoris Cordell, who oversees the IPA office, says the buses on which the ads are displayed—in English, Spanish and Vietnamese—come out of the Chaboya garage line and criss-cross East San Jose and downtown.
“Those are the hot spots that we’ve identified,” Cordell said. “We identified the hot spots working with the mayor’s gang task force and the San Jose Police Department.”
Working directly with acting Police Chief Larry Esquivel, Cordell says, the signs’ language and photos were finalized in agreement.
“We were trying to figure out what’s the best way to convey it,” she said. “Working with him, he said, ‘I suggest concerns instead of problem.” In Spanish, that presented a somewhat difficult task, as “problema” is the word for “concern.” In the end, they found common ground.
“I sat down and showed him the photographs,” Cordell added. “Picking the right photos was very important, so people can relate.
“What we’ve done is no different than what we did with the utility bills. Some people said, ‘You’re just trying to drum up business.’ And I said, ‘No. This is our mandate.’”