San Jose police force faces staffing shortage

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A new report says the San Jose police department will be down to its lowest level in 30 years.

A just released report says the number of police officers in the Bay Area's largest city could soon be at a level not seen since the Reagan administration. The San Jose police department has taken a big hit in staffing levels over the past several years and now police leaders are projecting it's only going to get worse.

San Jose police released staffing projections in a report ahead of Tuesday's city council meeting. Police Chief Larry Esquivel made a special appearance at the meeting to discuss the problem.

Currently there are 962 street ready sworn officers. That drops in July 2015 to 908, then to 884 in July 2016 and in three years to 862 street ready sworn officers.

The full report reveals the difficulties the department is having in hiring and keeping officers as well as employees in the communications division. Although resignations have slowed down from the record breaking numbers seen in 2012, officers are still resigning at a rapid rate -- averaging three to four a month.

Hiring hasn't gone as planned either. The goal is to have 45 recruits per academy, but the last full academy in May had only 20 graduates.

Incoming Mayor Sam Liccardo says the city council is considering possible solutions.

"We've got proposals on the table today to increase pay for bilingual officers, to increase incentives for officers who are retirement eligible. To modify disability language that will ensure that every officer knows if they're hurt in the line of duty they'll have a job, said Liccardo.

Despite the the shrinking force, San Jose has seen a drop in crime from the highs of two years ago.
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SJPDpolicecrimerecordMayor Bill de Blasiopolice chiefSan Jose
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