San Jose police rebuff request for CHP help


June 4, 2013 12:33:02 PM PDT
The most recent crime wave in San Jose has sparked an old debate.

Speaker pro tem Nora Campos wrote another letter to San Jose's police chief, urging him to ask the California Highway Patrol to help patrol the city.

She wrote she is concerned that the five homicides last week signals the beginning of what could be San Jose's most violent summer in years.

Her brother and San Jose city council member Xavier Campos thinks police Chief Larry Esquivel should ask for the help in light of the recent violence.

"It straps our city police department, where, you know; we put all our resources and rightly so, to those incidences leaves other parts of city vulnerable. So when we have a department that's less than 1,000 officers, when we're budgeted for 1,100, you know, we want to make sure that all areas of the city is covered," Xavier Campos.

Norma Campos wrote a similar letter to former police chief Chris Moore last summer after a particularly bad stretch of violence.

She said Mayor Chuck Reed and Moore rebuffed her offer because they insisted they had crime under control. San Jose went on to reach a 20-year high in homicides.

San Jose police spokesman Jason Dwyer says the department has enough resources to combat the crime problem. He points to the recent arrests of gang members carrying a stolen gun.

"Even with our staffing restraints, we do have the capability to hit a button, so to speak and have 40 to 50 extra officers on the streets. High caliber, highly trained gang-suppression officers. Officers that have worked street-level narcotics, criminal street gangs. They have tactical experience," he said.

Mayor Reed feels the decision to accept the help of the CHP is an operational issue and up to Esquivel to decide if he wants it.

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