San Jose police dispute claim that shortage forced postponement of festivals

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Fans of bacon will be disappointed to hear a popular Labor Day festival in San Jose has just been cancelled. And organizers are blaming lack of police protection.

Organizers say this is the second year one of their events has been postponed because of the officer shortage, but the police department says organizers only have themselves to blame.

There's a beef over bacon in the city of San Jose. The 4th annual Bacon Festival of America originally scheduled for Labor Day weekend at Plaza de Cesar Chavez has been postponed along with the Brek-Fest on the holiday Monday.

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"We got a letter about 2 1/2 weeks before our event saying there wasn't enough resources to put it together. So we looked into it and found out it was a police issue," said Ryan Sebastian, Moveable Feast.

Ryan Sebastian is the owner of Moveable Feast. He says they were forced to move the Bacon Festival to mid-October after a person with the city, who he didn't want to identify, told him the police department did not have enough resources to provide officers over the holiday weekend. That would make sense, since San Jose police are facing a major officer shortage and is considering moving dozens of detectives back to patrol. But according to a San Jose police spokesman, Sebastian's claims are not true.

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The department says the special event application was sent in 20 days late and the denial of the permits was due to the time constraints, not because of the officer shortage. However, Sebastian sent ABC7 News an email showing his application was sent to an event coordinator with the city on July 8 and his application form was signed on June 25. He says it's obvious why the bacon festival was postponed.

"I think if you talk to the average person who lives in a neighborhood in San Jose and ask them if they had enough resources and ask them if they had enough resources to cover burglaries, I think you would say no. The city is considering an emergency declaration and I think that speaks for itself," said Sebastian.

Organizers were expecting 10,000 to 15,000 people over Labor Day weekend. People who already bought tickets can use them in October, or they can get a refund.

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