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San Jose police chief announces his retirement

(KGO)
September 17, 2012 5:41:40 PM PDT
A major change is coming to the San Jose Police Department after Chief Chris Moore announced Monday that he plans to retire. He'll step down as the city copes with a recent spike in violent crime.

Without offering any specifics, the chief admitted Monday that he's frustrated, alluding to the many challenges his department is facing. He also admitted that when he took over just 19 months ago, he thought he'd be on the job much longer.

"This is a good day," Moore told reporters Monday. Despite facing mounting challenges and ongoing criticism, Moore said the decision to step down early next year was his alone. It comes after more than 30 years in law enforcement, 27 of those in San Jose. "This is my decision. I set it up. I'll tell you up front. I was not forced into it by any means at all," he said. "Certainly, there's a lot of factors that come into play when you decide to retire."

Moore acknowledged one factor in his decision, the difficult times facing his police force. "It's been a very difficult two years for not only for the chief, but for all department heads. I think individuals come to this decision for themselves," San Jose City Manager Debra Figone said.

Over the summer, there was an alarming increase in violent crime including eight murders in just 11 days in August. Measure B, passed in June to contain public employee pensions, is headed to court and the city council voted against putting a half-cent sales tax initiative on the November ballot that would've increased funding for police services.

In the meantime, the number of officers has declined dramatically. Besides laying off 65 officers, Moore has seen a hundred more retire or resign in the past year. "The elephant in the room? There's no confidence in City Hall. They're not going to change their ways and it's going to be like this for the next two years," said Jim Unland with the San Jose Police Officers Association. "There's going to be no attempts to try to retain the officers we're losing."

Mayor Chuck Reed says he's sorry to see Moore leave. "The chief has done a great job in the department in some of the most difficult times the department's ever faced in the history of the city," he said.

Moore will be on the job through the end of January. In the meantime, the city manager will launch a nationwide search for his replacement.


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