Police

Who Authorized SJPD’s Change in Gang Crime Stats?

San Jose Councilman Ash Kalra says the city’s got some explaining to do about its police stats gaffe. In a memo to the Rules and Open Government Committee, which meets Wednesday, Kalra calls for a hearing in front of the City Council about why a change was made in calculating gang stats, and why the numbers were misrepresented to the public.

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Rocketship Might Build Tamien Campus After All

Despite vocal opposition from some community members, Rocketship Education could receive approval to start building another charter school in the Washington/Tamien neighborhood. The City Council this week will consider selling the nonprofit educational company an $850,000 parcel of land to develop the new campus. Also on the council agenda is an underfunded gun buyback, a contract agreement with the electricians union and an urban village plan.

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Life after George Shirakawa Jr.

There is life after George Shirakawa Jr., as three men are proving with varying degrees of success. A former chief of staff to the incarcerated supervisor is rewriting history on his new blog, while a former county CFO has accepted a demotion after failing to catch Shirakawa’s crimes. Perhaps most interesting, though, is how the city’s acting police chief, Larry Esquivel, has managed to stay above the fray.

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Shikada Will Face Moneyball-like Challenges

Every winter, Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane has one hand perpetually tied behind his back, as he tries to rebuild his rosters for the following season. Frugal ownership, a decrepit stadium, and multiple run-ins with raw sewage make the A’s one of the least desirable Major League Baseball landing spots for top free agents. So, Beane, the man profiled in Michael Lewis’ bestseller Moneyball, does his best to cobble together lineups with bargain basement prospects and aging journeymen. And because he’s exceptionally good at his job—and a little lucky—he manages to field competitive teams year after year. The city of San Jose faces similar obstacles in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest minds to run the day-to-day operations of America’s 10th largest metropolis.

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Proposals for San Jose Police Substation, Academy Retention under Scrutiny

Police Chief Larry Esquivel suggests holding off on opening the new-but-empty police substation in south San Jose until later next year. But are there enough officers on the force to staff a second field office? While the city considers the chief’s proposal, there are also a couple plans making their way to Wednesday’s Rules and Open Government Committee meeting to get cadets to foot the bill for their own training if they leave too soon after receiving their training.

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Did 49ers’ Aldon Smith Get Preferential Treatment in Gun Charges Investigation?

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith surrendered himself to authorities on felony weapons charges Wednesday night. The 24-year-old, who until Thursday was on indefinite leave from the team, turned himself in to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office after checking out of rehab. He immediately posted $75,000 bail. While sports fans might be more concerned with Smith’s return to the Niners, a report on how his weapons case was handled has raised questions about the possibility of preferential treatment. A source within the county tells San Jose Inside that a dispute is now raging between the Sheriff and District Attorney’s offices.

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San Jose Police Academy Retention War Takes Inevitable Next Step

San Jose City Manager Debra Figone decided last week to end the suspense and remove “acting” from Larry Esquivel’s title as police chief, setting up a dramatic showdown. Not between cops and City Hall, though. An arsenal of memos over how to keep graduates of the police academy from jumping ship were fired off Tuesday. Just last week, it was widely reported that up to 17 cadets are taking their talents to different law enforcement agencies, leaving the city out about $2.9 million in training costs. On one side of the memo melee stands Sam Liccardo, armed with what he calls a “carrot and a stick.” On other other side stand Madison Nguyen and Johnny Khamis, carrying what they call a “first five” initiative. And in the middle, the police union is at the ready to shoot down both ideas.

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Police Academy Exodus Could Cost $2.9 Million; POA Asks Retirees to Refuse Jobs

Nearly half the class that graduated from the San Jose Police Academy a few weeks ago plans to leave for other departments, according to union leaders. And until the city offers a better disability pension plan to new police recruits, the Police Officers Association will keep encouraging cadets to find work elsewhere. On the opposite side of the experience spectrum, the POA is also telling retired officers to turn down jobs that would involve doing background checks on prospective officers.

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Police Want Federal Grant to Track Domestic Violence, Strangulations

Police want to use a $900,000 Department of Justice grant to better investigate domestic violence strangulations. A memo from acting Police Chief Larry Esquivel and city budget director Jennifer Maguire proposes a plan that will go before the City Council on Tuesday. Other items on the agenda include a request for a public hearing on the controversial Rocketship school in the Tamien neighborhood and a review of the city’s general plan.

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Arresting Developments

A recent discussion within our community has focused on building even more single-family homes in areas that are reserved for jobs or fall outside of the urban service area. The proposal would allow those who convert industrial land to pay a fee per housing unit created. Those dollars would then be used to purchase open space in Coyote Valley. Although this idea may be worthy of discussion in theory, my concern is that such land use decisions would ultimately hurt San Jose’s economy.

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San Jose Is Not Detroit

Hyperbole is the crudest way to make a point. It’s also the easiest way to lose an audience. But there’s a desperate talking point in local political circles going unchallenged. No longer.

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