The city of San Jose has spent the last few days denouncing other cities for luring away its police recruits. But it turns out, San Jose has been doing the same thing for years. Damian Trujillo reports.
The city of San Jose has spent the last few months denouncing other cities for luring away its police officers.
Now it turns out San Jose has been doing the same thing.
The department has been encouraging the recruitment of officers from other departments for a while now.
It costs San Jose roughly $170,000 to train each officer.
Councilman Sam Liccardo even issued a memo, proposing new recruits pay back the cost of training, or perhaps sending the bill to the city.
“The problem is our taxpayers are on the hook for $170,999 in training costs," said Liccardo.
NBC Bay Area obtained a memo of SJPD’s “Recruiting Incentive Program." It encourages any department employee to recruit an officer for another city, either a veteran or a rookie.
The San Jose officer would get comp time for each officer he or she recruits.
"San Jose does not exist in some sort of isolated environment," said political analyst Larry Gerston.
Gerston said what’s good for San Jose has to be good for other cities. He said luring employees and managers from one city to another is nothing new, so San Jose shouldn’t get upset when other cities poach from its force.
“As long as everybody is competing for these people, everybody had to be a big boy and a big girl about it and realize what goes one way, can go the other,” said Gerston.
The department said its intent is never to lure new recruits away from other cities.
San Jose police said compensating to hire new recruits is not about luring rookies away. It's about compensating officers for bringing in candidates who have never been police before to join the academy.
Liccardo thinks the policy is a good one.
“We should continue to encourage our officers to be out there talking to other officers who might be interested in a career in San Jose, and we know that happens in every city in the Bay Area," said Liccardo.
To which critics say don’t get mad when other cities do it to you.