SAN JOSE, CA – There is a plan at San Jose City Hall to add 200 cops to the ranks of San Jose’s sworn finest — but that may just stem the bleeding.
The police force may “struggle to maintain the current number” — under 1,000, for a city of nearly 1 million — of police walking the beat, according to the San Jose Mercury News, which bets that “the number of officers leaving SJPD could well outnumber the prospective new cops.”
Over the past two years — ever since San Jose cops took a 10 percent pay cut as the city’s financial situation became dire — an average of 100 cops each year retired or departed for other agencies, the newspaper reported.
So while Mayor Chuck Reed’s idea to hire 200 cops over the next four years sounds good, it may not be enough to add to the number of police on the streets, the newspaper reasoned.
Reed and Councilman Sam Liccardo are also proposing to reverse the paycut — but they may also need to reverse pension reform, police advocates say.
San Jose’s new pension plan is tightly restricted — so new recruits hired in San Jose may bolt to other law enforcement agencies unless San Jose becomes more “competitive,” according to Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the cops’ union.
Thus far this year, 75 officers have retired or quit, and 41 new officers are on the streets — for a net loss of 34, the newspaper reported.
There are 996 police officers in San Jose — there were 1,400 five years ago, the newspaper reported.