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San Jose Police Experiences Shortage

Bianca Lang, Social Media Manager

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Members of the San Jose Police Department are booking overtime to keep up with the shortage of officers.

The SJPD believes it needs at least 500 officers for a city with more than a million people, but according to ABC News, it only has 413.

The SJPD declared a state of emergency on September 11, 2016.

Police Chief Edgardo Garcia will now be able to reassign 47 officers from specialized tasks, like investigations, to fill in as police officers.

In an August 2016 interview with ABC News, Mayor Sam Liccardo said, “No resident, no chief wants to have a lot of officers out there, working multiple overtime shifts in a week, knowing they may not be well rested, and they have to make very critical decisions.”

The mayor said in an August 2016 interview with Mercury News that “We’ve got to fix a serious police staffing shortage, and if the chief tells me he needs this declaration to help him fix it in the short run, we’ll do it.”

People have blamed this shortage to a drop in volunteers for the overnight shift, officer departures, and small police academy classes, but Measure B seems to be a contributed to it as well.

According to ballotpedia.org, Measure B, approved on June 7, 2016, enacted a 0.25% general sales tax that will last for 15 years.

​It was estimated to bring in $38 million, and was going to go to the city’s general fund. The funds could be used for any government purpose.

According to the Santa Clara County Elections Office, funds acquired through Measure B is used to improve police response times to violent crimes, restore additional police officers on patrol, expand anti-crime programs, restore fire engines, paramedic and firefighting services, and repair streets.

However, hundreds of SJPD officers had been laid off, and a retired police officer, Constant, said to Mercury News in an June 2011 interview that “Our budget says the public safety of the people of San Jose is an afterthought at best.” ​

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San Jose Police Experiences Shortage