Calls for more SJ officers continue after violent weekend leaves department stretched thin

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022
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There are now calls for more San Jose P.D. officers after a deadly weekend of violence leaves department stretched thin.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Once known as one of the safest big cities in the country, law enforcement leaders say that is no longer the case in San Jose.

Three major incidents tied up most of the San Jose Police Department officers Saturday night into Sunday morning and the San Jose Police Officer's Association (SJPOA) says this left the rest of the city vulnerable.

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Monday, SJPOA President Sean Pritchard showed ABC7 News a recording of all the calls that were placed during this timeframe this weekend.

"These are all 911 calls coming in from various businesses and residents asking for help, pleading for help," Pritchard said. "And yet, there was not one San Jose officer available to respond to that call for help. We are unsafe, period."

It started just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday - SJPD says a family disturbance led to multiple people shot at Kaufmann Court. One person dead, another injured and one suspect in custody.

Three miles up the road and an hour and 15 minutes later, a shooting that took another life at what police say was a party on Madera Avenue.

Finally, another hour after that, there was a double stabbing at a nightclub two miles away.

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"Completely isolated from each other," San Jose Police Dept. Public Information Officer Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. "We don't want this type of violent crime in our city, however, we can't prevent it. We'll certainly do everything we can to curb it and keep responding to these incidents."

SJPD says that is getting increasingly difficult due to lack of staffing on the force.

The national average suggests the department should have around 2,400 officers, but SJPD sits at 1,021 filled spots despite a budget for around 1,300 officers.

The SJPOA said the department should have called for mutual aid for extra help. The call for mutual aid often comes from the mayor, although it is unclear if he made that decision.

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SJPD said that's often only for large scale events like riots.

"We were stretched to the max, however we did take care of these calls as efficiently and as quickly as we could with the available resources that we had," Sgt. Camarillo said.

However, many non-emergency calls had longer response times during this time.

The officers union told us the party on Madera received one of those non-emergency 911 calls earlier in the night due to noise complaints but it was not immediately answered.

A fight broke out an hour later and that's when the deadly shooting happened.

"When is it going to be enough? What constitutes an emergency for city leaders? This isn't some charade," Pritchard said. "These are real numbers and these are real facts and until city leaders start recognizing, the blood is on their hands."

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