Police Officers Association

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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We Need an Independent, Responsible Approach for a Safer San Jose

Everyone loves applause—especially politicians. Yet leadership in difficult times often requires making decisions that don’t draw applause. It means having the independence to stand up for everybody, not just the loudest voices or the most powerful groups. When leaders have the independence to tell those groups what they don’t want to hear, it threatens the status quo. And threatened people yell. So, let’s take a breath, hit the “pause” button on the yelling, and start where we all agree. First, San Jose needs more police officers.

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Leadership Transition Continues with City Manager Debra Figone’s Retirement

San Jose City Manager Debra Figone announced this week she will retire after overseeing city operations for six years. Her tenure, which will come to an end in December, has marked some of the most difficult years in the city’s history, as the City Council enacted layoffs and pay cuts to cope with historic budget deficits. Her departure will likely leave the city with an interim city manager, police chief and fire chief, all while the 2014 mayoral race is in full swing.

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Political Consultants, Lobbyists Deny Running The Daily Fetch

The Daily Fetch takes no prisoners—at least that’s what political consultant and lobbyist Dustin DeRollo told Fly when denying he has any role in producing the anonymous links blog. In the past six months, the Fetch—under new ownership—has taken a decidedly aggressive tone in going after everyone from Mayor Chuck Reed, his City Council allies and defeated county supervisorial candidate Teresa Alvarado to Metro and its staff. But one group that has received far less criticism from the blog is the organized labor machine and its elected allies, such as Cindy Chavez. So, when DeRollo’s name turned up as the quasi-editor of a PDF the site posted for a story last week, speculation in Silicon Valley political circles percolated that he and his business partner, Tom Saggau, have been orchestrating the site. Both men say that couldn’t be further from the truth, claiming DeRollo was improperly ratted out as a source for a story he expected not to lead back to him.

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Acting Police Chief Larry Esquivel Caught in Labor Crossfire

Breaking up is hard to do. Breaking up a fight between the San Jose police union and City Hall could be damn near impossible. In what appeared to be an effort to mend fences and remind people who’s the boss, Acting Police Chief Larry Esquivel recently sent an email this week to his command staff—roughly 50 deputy police chiefs, lieutenants and captains—scolding them for signing on to a letter critical of the city recent actions involving labor negotiations.

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San Jose Police Officers’ Tutorial on Letters of Apology Concerns Public Defender

The San Jose Police Department’s duty manual serves as a bible of sorts when it comes to the rules and regulations for officers. In the 756-page tome that lays out procedures and protocol, five pages are dedicated to interviews and interrogations of witnesses and suspects. Nowhere in the duty manual, however, is there any mention of an interrogation technique that is now receiving criticism from the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s office and local defense attorneys: letters of apology.

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Campaign Coordination: A (Legally Interpretive) Labor of Love

The Fair Political Practices Commission awarded a cookie last week to Cindy Chavez, champ of Tuesday’s county supervisor primary. FPPC Chief Enforcement Officer Gary Winuk ruled that mass mailers shared between Chavez, the county Democratic party and the South Bay Labor Council followed the Political Reform Act to the letter, which must mean it was written in some kind of Cyrillic and Arabic scramble. Part of the ruling stated that anyone who registers with a party is considered a member, even if they don’t pay dues, which means a party’s candidate of choice basically has an unlimited amount of coordinated funds at their disposal.

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POA Moves Forward with Measure B Lawsuit

San Jose’s police union filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s authority to impose pension reform. The complaint was filed Monday, a little more than a week after Attorney General Kamala Harris agreed to let the Police Officers Association file for a judicial review.

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Police, City to Debate Pensions at Public Arbitration Hearing

UPDATE: The city of San Jose came to an agreement on tier-2 retirement benefits with the POlice Officers Association on Thursday afternoon, avoiding Friday’s arbitration hearing.

San Jose faces a $2.9 billion unfunded liability in pension and retiree healthcare costs. The figure is mind-boggling. The city still has to figure out how to afford those unfunded obligations. But that’s another story for another time. On Friday morning, the public—for the first time—will have a chance to sit in on arbitration hearings that have been held previously behind closed doors, when the city negotiators sits across the table from San Jose’s police union.

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A Compilation of San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel’s Best, Worst Tweets

Larry Esquivel inherited San Jose’s chief of police position without ever putting his name up for consideration. In fact, none of the San Jose Police Department’s deputy chiefs showed a genuine interest in the job, leaving the applicant pool to some uninterested and/or unqualified candidates outside of the area. But Esquivel is learning the ropes, and a perusal of his Twitter account shows a man who loves emoticons, classic cars and ... the Mercury News? Yes, the Mercury News.

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Who Wasted the Most Campaign Money in 2012? Well, a Lot of People

The deadline for semi-annual campaign disclosure forms covering the last half of 2012 came due last week. The documents provide a clearer picture of how winning and losing candidates raised money and how they spent it—or misspent it—in the final weeks of the campaign. We also tracked a number of political action committees (PACs). The most interesting findings: How much money was wasted in trying to defeat Councilmember Rose Herrera, a potential quid pro quo between the ChamberPAC and a person quoted in its ballot statement against minimum wage, and hangover debt for losing candidates Jimmy Nguyen and Robert Braunstein.

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Firefighters Union President: City Plays Politics with Department Response Times

The city recently acknowledged that it was missing thousands of emergency response times when calculating how long it takes first responders from the San Jose Fire Department to arrive on scene. Robert Sapien, president of San Jose’s firefighters union, explains in an op-ed why emergency response times matter not only in life and death situations, but also when calculating the city’s budget.—Editor

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A More Conservative San Jose

This week’s inauguration of Republican Johnny Khamis to the San Jose City Council is a bittersweet moment for yours truly. On one hand, I’m disappointed to have worked on the losing end of the District 10 campaign last fall, and as a lifelong Democrat, I’m frustrated that my hometown’s leadership has shifted further to the right. On the other hand, we were already there, and at least this gives me something to write about.

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