The San Jose Police Department, which only a few years ago numbered 1,400 officers, is down to 1,000 and is losing officers quickly even as the city continues to grow and more officers are needed. Many are resigning because pensions have been cut, wages have been reduced and vacations and time off are becoming rare due to the overstretched force. The San Jose City Council is set to go on summer recess in July. If a resolution to the funding crisis is not achieved by then, many police advocates fear more resignations will occur and recruiting will become incredibly difficult. Police unions and city leaders are at odds about how best to resolve the issue.
According to a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News, many current officers are testing with other departments in the area because the benefits and pay are more attractive. One source quoted in the article says that the department may lose 50 or 60 more officers by the end of the year if the uncertainty continues.
Officers who are overworked, underpaid and who feel unsupported by political leaders may not be able to do their jobs to the best of their ability despite their herculean efforts. Police officers have a vital job in the defense of the public and the Constitution. For the sake of the officers, the public and the Constitution, the entire San Jose community should be advocating for a resolution to the current crisis.