MayorLiccardo and the City Spokesperson Try to Divert, Distort & Deceive the Public About SJPD Staffing
Official city documents dispute their staffing claim
San Jose (CA)--It’s disappointing, but not surprising, that Mayor Liccardo and the City spokesperson are not telling the truth about SJPD police officer staffing and the dire negative consequences this understaffing continues to have on the safety of our residents and businesses. Their response to the release of police officer survey results indicating that hundreds more officers plan on leaving the SJPD brought to mind heads buried in the sand.
“The Mayor ought to tell the truth, stop pointing fingers at others and accept responsibility that he inherited the safest large city in the nation when he stepped foot in City Hall and has now destroyed that legacy,” said Sean Pritchard, President of the San Jose Police Officers Association.
These official City of San Jose documents (converted from excel to pdf for easier reading) validate that over 200 police officers departed the SJPD from January 2021 through August 6, 2022. It is clear, City officials are having an argument amongst themselves about how many officers left while our residents suffer.
The impact of over 200 police officers leaving SJPD is 22-minute response times for Priority 2 emergency 911 calls according to another official City of San Jose document (page 5 or 8). Examples of these emergency calls include incidents when a member of the public needs immediate assistance for injury or property damage (or the potential for either of those to occur) as well as when the suspect is still present in the area. It also takes 22-minutes to respond to all missing person reports for children under the age of 12, or at-risk missing persons, including mentally handicapped or disoriented adults.
San Jose also failed to meet its 6-minute response time goal for 911 calls to incidents such as gun shots fired, stabbings in progress, armed robbery in progress, assaults and rapes in progress in 13 of the city’s 16 police districts (excluding the airport).
“San Jose’s population has grown over the tenure of then Councilmember and now Mayor Liccardo, while during the same time frame the SJPD dramatically shrunk,” added Pritchard. Liccardo and his hand-picked successor Councilmember Matt Mahan are doing their best to pillory others about the “catch and release” of criminals. Maybe they ought to stop diverting attention from their failures and focus on giving the SJPD the ability to actually “catch” criminals, prevent crime and protect our residents by being transparent about the state of our department’s staffing and enacting a plan to fix it.”
The dire staffing condition has increased detective caseloads, inhibiting them from delivering results and justice to crime victims. Specialty units have been cut and community policing is almost nonexistent as officers are going from 911 call to 911 call with no time to interact with the community they serve.