They say necessity is the mother of invention. When it comes to policing in southern San Jose, there is new proof of that theory.
With dwindling staffing, SJPD’s Southern Division police captain Lt. Chris Monahan says he’s been forced to find creative ways to fight burglary in his neighborhood, and the tactic seems to be paying off.
San Jose’s Almaden Valley neighborhood has seen a spike of burglaries recently, so Monahan is using specialty officers to target criminals.
Monahan’s officers caught the latest burglary suspects Thursday in South San Jose. Police swarmed the area moments after the two suspects broke into Richard Emel’s house on Silver Leaf Road.
“They caught them when they walked out the door,” Emel said.
Twice a week, each of San Jose’s four police divisions is given an extra patrol car to use at the captains’ discretion. Usually it’s gang enforcement. It’s called an overtime car.
But, in the Southern Division, the captain and his lieutenants are using the extra officers to go after burglars.
“What we try to do is utilize those to tackle a big problem in Southern, which is the ongoing burglary issue,” Monahan said. “And it’s working. We’ve had a pretty good run over the last five weeks. We’ve been able to arrest suspects each of the last five weeks.”
So, in South San Jose, there is now a dedicated team going after burglars. Police say burglars are usually members of a gang, so they’re actually practicing gang suppression at the same time.
Commanders say, with low staffing levels, they have to find innovative ways to fight crime, like the use of these officers normally used to combat gangs.
“Despite the limited staffing, we’re still doing police work,” Monahan said. “We’re still looking for people doing harm to our citizens that might be doing burglaries or stealing cars, or whatever the crime might be.”