SJ Police Chief Chris Moore's Biggest Disappointment

In a wide ranging interview, Moore was candid about his biggest regret and his biggest disappointment.

Chris Moore won’t retire as San Jose police chief for another four months

But as he sat at his desk Thursday morning crunching the numbers, Moore knew he wasn't going to like how the numbers added up.

He has fewer officers and less money to pay them.

Moore was candid about both regret and disappointment during his tenure as chief. 

When it comes to the disappointment, Moore pointed directly at the San Jose City Council.

 “It was very frustrating, put it that way,” Moore said.

The chief was talking about the City Council vote not to put a tax measure on the ballot to hire more cops.

“If the tax payers voted on it and said no, I think all of us would understand. They didn’t get that opportunity,” Moore said.

Reporter: "Was that the breaking point for you?"

Moore: "There were a lot for things. I think that was a major reason.”

Reporter: “The perception is the department is being run by City Hall.  Were you pounding your fist on the table?”

Moore: “I think there are a few tables that have marks over there at City Hall.”

Reporter: “Should you have been more vocal in public to reassure your officers that you were fighting for them?"

Moore: “I think I walked a very fine line. Perhaps I should have been out there screaming at the mayor and city manager saying we need more cops. They knew, and they know.”

Morale is near record lows in the San Jose Police Department.

And there’s perhaps a bigger rift between the rank and file, and City Hall.

Both sides will battle out pension reform in court, experts say, for years to come.

Reporter: “Is your leaving part of the healing process?”

Moore: “It might be. I don’t like to view it In those terms, because my retirement is my retirement. Thirty years in this business is a long time.”

Moore’s biggest regret is something that’s not in his job description: mediating a deal between his officers and City Hall on pension reform before it went to the ballot.

What is he most proud of?

Moore said it’s leading this group of men and women in blue.

“The next chief will inherit the fines police department in the country, I mean that. The best trained, the best qualified,” said Moore.

Moore’s last day on the job will be Jan. 31.

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