San Jose Police Staffing Crisis Hits New Low With Weekend Officer Shortage - NBC Bay Area
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San Jose Police Staffing Crisis Hits New Low With Weekend Officer Shortage

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    San Jose's ongoing police staffing crisis hit a new low this weekend when the department was hit with an officer shortage. Robert Handa reports. (Published Tuesday, June 2, 2015)

    San Jose's ongoing police staffing crisis hit a new low this weekend when the department was hit with an officer shortage.

    In addition, the San Jose Police Department is seeing an alarming drop in academy recruits.

    Officials confirm the department over the weekend needed to fill 16-officer shifts, which they did mainly with mandatory overtime. Top brass also revealed the small police academy class that started Friday has already lost three cadets.

    "I think we are in a bad situation where we're at -- to be very candid," SJPD Deputy Chief Phan Ngo said.

    The department is now down to 855 officers, a drop from 1,400 just six years ago.

    San Jose is taking drastic steps, including possibly bringing in an outside agency to conduct part of the testing process to see who qualifies for the academy.

    "There's certainly a concern that with our pitifully low academy class that they're moving toward lowering the standards of police officers," said James Gonzales, San Jose Police Officers Association president.

    The department adamantly denies it will ever lower its standards and said changes in the testing process are still being evaluated.

    "That is something that is being worked on, but in the meantime, we just have to do our very best with the resources that we have," Ngo said.

    Mayor Sam Liccardo said there will an increase in pay schedule on July 1.

    The city and union are still negotiating more pay and benefits behind closed doors.

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