There was a rare sight in the NBC Bay Area studios this week. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed sat at the same table with a member of the San Jose Police Officers Association.
Both sides agreed to appear on the public affairs show Comunidad Del Valle to discuss the issues, from morale, to pension reform, to the ticket an officer gave Mayor Reed earlier this year.
The SJPOA was represented by the board member, Officer Franco Vado. Vado and Reed shook hands, then talked about the issues.
Asked if he would ask potential recruits to join the force, Vado said, “If he had other options, no.” Mayor reed replied, “Well, it’s disappointing. I’m sorry they don’t recommend it. We have a great department, one of the best departments in the country.”
Vado also said he would not discourage current officers from leaving the force for another city. “We had a lot of officers lose homes, given 10 percent in pay concessions.
If they can go somewhere to stabilize, it might be a better position for them,” Valdo said.
“I’m sorry that they’ve taken it personal, but I understand it ” said the mayor. “My job has been to try to work for the people of the city.” Reed also conceded he was part of the problem that got the city in financial trouble in the first place.
“I agree. There’s plenty of blame to go around. Twelve years as mayor and on the city council, I voted for a lot of contracts that I wish I could do over,” Reed said.
Reed also answered whether he thought the traffic ticket a police officer gave him last month was pay back. “I know the officer who stopped me was completely professional,” said Reed. “He did his job the way I would want him to do his job. “
Vado and Mayor Reed shook hands again at the end of the program.
Vado said he would appreciate similar chats with the mayor in the future.
Comunidad Del Valle airs Sunday at 10 a.m. on NBC Bay Area.