Damian Trujillo talks with the outgoing police chief of San Jose.
He’s worn every badge of the San Jose Police Department.
Chief Chris Moore is spending his last few days on the job packing them up.
“Probably melancholy is the best way to describe it,” said Moore on Wednesday in a sit-down interview from his third-floor conference room. His last day is Friday.
Moore sat in front of a shadow box containing all his badges, a gift from his command staff on his last week as chief.
“You choke up a little bit because you realize you were a part of something special,” said Moore.
Moore was at the helm when his department saw a rise in crime and a drop in morale. More than 100 veteran officers resigned from the force in 2012, many out of frustration over dwindling pay and benefits.
Moore now has advice for City Hall: “My hope is that they recognize that the police officers are really good… and we need to hang on to those good officers that we have. It’s not as simple as just hiring new people.
The outgoing chief also had advice for the incoming acting chief, Larry Esquivel who was promoted from deputy chief to fill the void while a permanent replacement is found.
“Larry Esquivel is a very talented individual. He has his finger on the pulse of what’s happening on the street… Listening is a very important skill. As a chief, he has to listen to the community,” said Moore. “
”It’s going to be a difficult road,” warned Moore. “It’s a rocky road.”
Moore was appointed chief at a time when community groups accused the department of racial profiling.
He mended fences with those groups, and now will take a couple months off while he considers job offers from New York, Washington, D.C., and other parts of the nation.
“While is seems impressive to have all these badges on the wall, It’s more about the relationships with all the good people you worked with,” Moore said.