San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed introduced a proposal Tuesday aimed at helping the city’s understaffed police department dealing with an increasing homicide rate.
Reed’s plan, which is backed by Councilman Sam Liccardo, would add 200 more police officers to the force in the next four years, and restore a 10 percent pay cut that the officers had agreed to a couple of years ago. The officers accepted that cut during the recession to avoid layoffs, and the police union wants it restored immediately, rather than gradually.
The recommendation passed 10-1.
The proposal comes as San Jose confronts a growing problem with crime and follows a bitter fight over pension reform.
Union officials say if the pay cut is not restored within the next year, officers will continue to leave San Jose for other departments that pay more.
Three years ago, there were 1,400 officers in the department, now that number is less than 1,000. The mayor would like to see the number grow to 1,200 by 2017.