San Jose's Emergency Fix on Police Patrols Takes Effect - NBC Bay Area
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San Jose's Emergency Fix on Police Patrols Takes Effect

Dozens of officers reassigned from investigations, but some residents still concerned about safety

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    As the San Jose Police Department's state of emergency took effect Sunday, reassigning 47 investigators to street patrols, some residents are still concerned about safety. Rick Boone reports. (Published Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016)

    As the San Jose Police Department's state-of-emergency transition took effect Sunday, reassigning 47 investigators to street patrols, some residents are still concerned about safety.

    Some people in the city of about 1 million are a little nervous and believe police response times will still be slow.

    "This person cut me off and started zig zagging out of nowhere, and I really wish there was an officer there," said Mehvish Tapal.

    Indeed, not everyone in San Jose has faith in the city's plan that was approved last month to address a severe shortage of patrol officers on the streets of San Jose. In 2008, the department had 1,400 officers. Today, it has 855.

    Resident Jonathan Castaneda thinks he may have to take matters into his own hands.

    "It's really a shame we can't have them protect us." Castaneda said. "And that's what we hope for, but I guess we got to do it on our own."

    Resident Julian Fadelin agreed, saying, "Having more police officers may not even prevent crime or deter crime."

    Recruitment numbers also are way down. On Friday, three cadets came out of the academy. "Some start today, and some start throughout this week," Chief Eddie Garcia said.

    Garcia said no matter the numbers, there should be no worry.

    "San Jose is safe, and that doesn't happen by accident," he said. "It happens on the back of men and women who wear this uniform, and they need help."

    It looks to be an uneasy September, especially for crime victims who fear being victimized again.

    "Every day," robbery victim Paul Graham said he is fearful. "Every day, because it seems like every day it could happen."

    The city has said it is boosting officer pay to increase recruitment.

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