San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s newest budget includes a plan to re-establish the dedicated burglary unit at the San Jose Police Department.
The unit was dismantled two years ago because of budget problems. San Jose has seen a big jump in the number of break-ins since then.
San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen was a driving force behind the inclusion of a dedicated burglary unit in the mayor's new budget.
If the mayor’s proposal goes through, the burglary unit could be back up and running by July, but some police officers say it won’t do much to curb crime.
In 2013, San Jose saw a 20 percent rise in burglaries.
James Gonzales with the San Jose Police Officer’s Association said those numbers will continue to grow until more "actual police officers" are put on the street.
“Gimmicks like adding civilians is not going to deliver safety,” he said. “I don’t hear any citizen calling for more civilians to come in to their home after a crime has occurred. San Jose citizens want police officers.”
The dismantled burglary unit was comprised of several detectives. But the new plan would use cheaper non-sworn personnel.
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea if it saves a little bit of money and there are people that are trained to do it, then it’s probably just a good idea to have somebody, anybody doing it.,” said San Jose resident Tara Driscoll.
Gonzales said the city council needs to focus on investing in the police department which has lost a dramatic number of officers since Measure B was passed two years ago cutting officer benefits.
The City Council will hold a public hearing on the mayor’s proposed budget Tuesday and will vote on it March 18.