30 Officers Resign from San Jose Police Department in 60 days and the Assistant Chief of Police follows!
By Sgt. John Robb
In just under 60 days, 30 officers have resigned from the San Jose Police Department as the homicide rate exceeds a twenty-year high. KCBS news reported that San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor, Judge LaDoris Cordell, believes there is little doubt that the recent spike in homicides were due to cuts in police staffing. Yet, despite the beliefs of police officers and Judge Cordell, as well as quantifiable crime statistics, Mayor Chuck Reed was quoted on KQED news just after San Jose’s 44th homicide stating, "Exactly what's causing the homicide rate to go up or go down is not something that anybody's been able to explain to me".
I, like many other officers, have sat in disbelief as our peers continue to resign while the Mayor claims no knowledge as to why San Jose’s crime rate is rising. Looking back at history, city officials and Mayor Chuck Reed were warned that the San Jose Police Department had a severe shortage of officers. Former Chief of Police Robert Davis made these warnings and unfortunately they were ignored and today we can see the results.
In 2000, Chuck Reed was elected to the San Jose City Council after serving as a board member with the Downtown Business Owners Association and practicing law as a land use/developer lobbyist. He held his council position until 2006 when he was elected Mayor. On March 17, 2006, Chief Davis delivered a memorandum to then City Manager Les White that was distributed to the City Council. The memorandum was titled, “SJPD Sworn Staffing Concerns.” It was a summary of the staffing concerns he had compiled regarding the loss of over 73 sworn officer positions between the fiscal years 2002 through the fiscal 2005-2006 budget cycle. Chief Davis was concerned about the long term staffing trends and wrote:
In the past, reassignment of personnel from support areas has eliminated positions while maintaining beat patrol structures. However, this strategy of reassignment, hiring fewer officers, reducing staff by attrition, and the cancellation of Police Academies, has placed the Department in a precarious position. The cumulative effects of “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” have placed the Department’s ability to provide basic police services in jeopardy. These services not only include patrol, but also include investigative services. Additional cuts will, without question, impede the Department’s ability to provide basic police services, which over the years have already been eroded.
On November 17, 2006 Chief Davis delivered a proposed five-year staffing plan to the Mayor and City Council. That plan called on city officials to hire 478 sworn officers over the next five years. Chief Davis complained that in 2006, his sworn staff was 1,343 officers and this placed staffing at 1998 levels. He recommended the Mayor and the Council implement his plan that would increase sworn staffing to 1,821 officers in five years. He predicted that absent additional officers, crime rates would likely rise as our ability to respond to them would decrease.
Chief Davis’ concerns were ignored and no action was taken; yet special interest development projects and city subsidies continued despite their high costs and limited return on city investment. In 2010, the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury filed a report on the Hayes Mansion. This special interest project is owned by the City of San Jose and has been losing taxpayer money every year. The Grand Jury report detailed that between calendar years 2003 through 2011, the Hayes Mansion cost taxpayers nearly $35 million dollars in losses. As those losses grew, talk continued about building a baseball stadium for the A’s and low cost land transfers occurred that subsidized multi-millionaires at the expense of basic city services. Officer staffing levels were ignored, employee benefits and compensation were reduced, and now our most experienced and well-trained officers are leaving for other jurisdictions. Mind you, these other jurisdictions were able to solve their budget issues without the divisive and destructive methods employed by this Mayor and his council majority.
Six years ago, Chief Davis pleaded forsworn staffing to increase to 1,821 officers. Six years later, our staffing now stands at close to1,006 street ready officers. But with 51 of those officers on disability/medical leave and 35 on modified duty, our department has now shrunk to a shocking staffing level of just 920 officers in a city of over one million people.
Chief Davis warned that failure to act on his recommendations "would greatly impact our department." He wrote, "The lack of incremental staffing additions during the last four years, combined with increases in population and development, intensified the impact of staffing shortages. During the period from 2003 to 2005, the Department's most serious calls for service increased, while officers' opportunities for self-initiated activities declined. Without additional staffing, this trend will likely continue, resulting in a primarily reactive, calls-for-service Patrol Division" [emphasis added]
After working as a police officer for 24 years, I have come to learn that it is easy to discount a rising homicide rate with claims of ignorance, when you are not the one who has to the notify the families of their loss. These homicides and near homicides in the form of shootings, assaults and stabbings have a damaging impact on the victims and their families and on our neighborhoods. The Mayor’s claim of ignorance as to what has contributed to our crime increase demonstrates a lack of leadership and empathy toward those victims and their families that have been torn apart by violence.
Today, America’s once safest large city and national model police department are in decline. A decline brought on by narrow-minded politics that allowed no room for compromise. SJPOA and other unions offered legal pension reform that would have saved millions. We asked to go into the same pension plan the Mayor and Council are in, CalPERS. We were told NO! Voters have already begun to ask themselves, "What did I actually vote for?" A measure that forced the largest number of police resignations in American history! In less than 60 days, an additional 30 officers have resigned and this includes the Assistant Chief of Police who has just announced her resignation. Since January of 2011, 139 officers have resigned from our department. Well over 50 additional officers are now in backgrounds with other agencies and are also likely to resign. Our Chief has retired after less than two years on the job, our Assistant Chief has resigned with less than 1 year on the job, and numerous command staff officers are actively applying for jobs with other cities. This number does not count retirements, just resignations.
The City of San Jose spends on average over $170,000 to train new officers and additional dollars for ongoing training once officers are street-ready. Today, the City of San Jose has lost over twenty-three million dollars in training costs in just the last two years! While the loss of twenty-three million dollars in training costs should shock our citizen taxpayers, the loss of 46 lives is without measure. Every officer in the city knows why crime is rising and, the Independent Police Auditor knows why crime is rising.
Mayor Chuck Reed, the officers who just resigned along with your Chief of Police and Assistant Chief of Police, know why crime is rising! Your officers are resigning because you no longer pay a living wage or honor your contracts!
Listed below are the names and agencies of the 30 officers who resigned in less than 60 days.
|NAME||STATUS||CURRENT AGENCY||TOTAL COUNT|
|Ofc. J. Baker||Resigned||Colma P.D.||30|
|Assistant Chief Rikki Goede||Resigned||Piedmont PD||29|
|Ofc. M. DelaCerda||Resigned||San Mateo D.A. Office||28|
|Ofc. J. Terry||Resigned||Santa Clara PD||27|
|Ofc. R. Martinez||Resigned||Aurora PD Colorado||26|
|Ofc. I. Fry||Resigned||San Leandro PD||25|
|Ofc. V. Martinez||Resigned||Aurora PD Colorado||24|
|Sgt. E. Conover||Resigned||Redwood City PD||23|
|Ofc. G. Albin||Resigned||Redwood City PD||22|
|Ofc. M. Ruybal||Resigned||Redwood City PD||21|
|Ofc. A. Luisi||Resigned||Santa Cruz S.O.||20|
|Ofc. A. Hutson||Resigned||Santa Cruz S.O.||19|
|Ofc. H. Dinh||Resigned||Unk. Agency||18|
|Ofc. D. Haws||Resigned||Unk. Agency||17|
|Ofc. M. Phan||Resigned||Los Gatos PD||16|
|Ofc. W. Hoyt||Resigned||Los Gatos PD||15|
|Ofc. S. Fierro||Resigned||Morgan Hill PD||14|
|Ofc. M. Whittington||Resigned||S.C.C.D.A. Office||13|
|Ofc. T. Rose||Resigned||S.C.C.D.A. Office||12|
|Ofc. G. Newton||Resigned||Livermore PD||11|
|Ofc. R. Chubon||Resigned||S.C.C.D.A. Office||10|
|Ofc. T. Sjon||Resigned||Watsonville PD||9|
|Ofc. D. Saiki||Resigned||Redwood City PD||8|
|Ofc. S. Nunes||Resigned||Santa Cruz S.O.||7|
|Ofc. J. Freitas||Resigned||Redwood City PD||6|
|Ofc. J. Macias||Resigned||Redwood City PD||5|
|Ofc. J. Martin||Resigned||FremontPD||4|
|Ofc. J. Aragon||Resigned||Redwood CityPD||3|
|Ofc. M. Cristobol||Resigned||Hayward PD||2|
|Ofc. N. Castillo||Resigned||Unk. Agency||1|