SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- There's now new incentive for men and women willing to earn the badge and serve as a San Jose police officer.
San Jose's city council approved a new contract for police officers on Tuesday to help fill a severe shortage. The vote came the same day the city launched an aggressive recruitment campaign.
Officers will be getting wage increases of more than 16 percent over the next three years.
San Jose's police chief applauds the decision. "It makes the department competitive. Simple as that. It will make people want to come to this department. Back in the early 90s this was the number one department to come to in the country and we feel that we can bring that back again," Chief Eddie Garcia said.
Staffing levels are currently at historic lows, with just under 800 full-duty sworn officers, down from nearly 1,400 in 2009.