San Jose

‘We Are Here to Keep the City Safe': San Jose Police to Push Back Against ‘Jailing' Guidelines

Santa Clara County's biggest city is about to push back against a controversial new policy.

County officials are now asking that police not bring someone to jail unless their crime comes with a bail over $15,000.

On Friday, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said he is not ready to get on board the new guidelines.

"I can't control what other entities do," Garcia said. "I can only control what my department does."

Garcia is advising his officers to continue to arrest suspects if they see the need, breaking from the county's new "jailing" guidelines. Those guidelines call for law enforcement to issue a citation, instead of a jail booking.

For most crimes that may have a bail amount of $15,000 or less, including some theft, exposure and prostitution cases, the chief said crooks are not going to get off easy in his city.

"I want the residents and the officers and the individuals that might be thinking we're going to be easier on, that is not the case in the city of San Jose," Garcia said. "And these officers will go out and they will enforce the law."

The county made the change to keep jail cells from filling up with the low-level and mentally ill suspects. They also said a jail supervisor has the final call on who can be booked and who cannot.

The San Jose Police Department has modified its duty manual to officially reflect the county's new guidelines, but the chief said he will continue relying on the opinion of his officers -- not a number set by the county. 

"We are here to keep the city safe," Garcia said.

NBC Bay Area was unable to get comment from county officials because the Santa Clara County offices were closed Friday.

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