Tuesday night in San Jose there was a lot of talk of crime and public safety, but beneath the surface, the discussion is political.
On Tuesday night in San Jose, it's expected that there will be a lot of talk of crime and public safety, but beneath the surface, the discussion will be political.
Departing San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore will address the city council at a planned meeting about a rise in crime. Across town, the police union will be voicing its own concerns at its own meeting
August was hardly a lazy summer month. Police responded to a deadly spike in violence. That is also when the San Jose city council discussed a sales tax measure that would've increased funding to police. August is also the month that the police chief decided that he was going to retire, plans that he revealed publicly Monday for the first time.
On Tuesday night, the city council and the chief will hold a pre-planned study session on public safety and the chief's specific response to two deadly weeks in August the left nine people dead.
Seven miles away, the San Jose Police Officers Association will host a crime prevention meeting to give community members information on how to keep themselves safe.
The union says they're just trying to offer services that the police department used to offer.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said the timing of the union meeting is suspect.
"They can have a meeting whenever they want, I think it’s a political decision," Reed said.
The public is invited to both meetings, but because they are scheduled about 30 minutes and seven miles apart, that would be a tough drive.
The messages at each meeting is expected to be quite different.
The union is expected to hammer on response time, which for priority one calls like a homicide or a home invasion is a minute longer than the target.
At city hall, the focus is expected to center on resources and that conversation is likely to turn political very quickly.
"It doesn’t matter who the chief is, if the city council doesn’t make public safety a top priority. Not debt 30 years out, not political games through pension reform that’s not going to save us a penny. We have to make public safety our number one priority and stop playing games," Ash Kalra, San Jose City Councilman said.
The mayor said there will be more money when pension reforms kick in. But that issue is tied up in the courts. When the city council had a change to put a sales tax before voters, they opted not to do it.