San Jose Adds Downtown Police Officers | NBC Bay Area

San Jose Adds Downtown Police Officers

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    The San Jose Police Department has launched a new program for officers to patrol the downtown area on foot. Marianne Favro reports. (Published Monday, March 17, 2014)

    San Jose police this month started a new program aimed at beefing up its presence in the downtown area.

    The new downtown foot patrol program places four officers and a sergeant in the area to walk the streets.

    "Drug dealing, graffiti, prostitution, gang violence, street-level robberies, all things of that nature," San Jose police spokesman Albert Morales said of what officers will be looking out for on patrol.

    The city council recently voted to allocate $200,000 from the general fund to pay the overtime for officers to patrol the downtown area.

    "We've been hearing over and over about the difficulty for the thinly-stretched staff to respond," councilman Sam Liccardo said.

    The officers spend much of the day talking to people and making their presence known.

    On Monday, officers received a report of a man stealing San Jose Sharks jerseys from the Discover San Jose store.

    Police were able to locate the suspect within 30 minutes after receiving the report. Officers also were able to recover the jerseys.

    "I was blown away," said Renee Palmer, store manager for Discover San Jose. "The fact they got this guy in less than a half an hour says a lot. I couldn't be happier."

    Palmer said she is convinced the new program will make a difference.