The San Jose Mercury News reports that "The latest San Jose police academy was already considered weak with an announced roll call of 29" half of department need. But the academy class might now be referred to as "anemic, with news that 23 are now expected to show up when the academy begins."
Additionally, over the last six years, the size of the police force has been reduced from "about 1,400 to just over 1,000." With the force shrinking, retention flailing and the size of the academy classes declining, the future of the force's power must be cause for concern among advocates of public safety.
In the past several decades, San Jose's crime rate has been low in comparison to the nation's. But over the last several years, the city's crime rate has increased and now "the capital of Silicon Valley has a higher crime rate than California or the United States as a whole, while the city's police force is catching half as many criminals as it did just a few years ago" according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News ("San Jose crime rate surpasses U.S. average, arrests plummet").
If the current conditions continue, regardless of the herculean efforts of the officers, mistakes may be made, officers may needlessly be placed in harm's way and the guaranteed rights of the accused may be put at risk. Clearly some action at the highest levels of power must be taken to ensure public safety is a priority.