San Jose Police Officers Reject City Contract Offer - 954 Voted NO, 2 Voted YES

San Jose (CA)--Today the SJPOA announced that their membership, near-unanimously, rejected the latest City contract offer by a vote of 954 to 2. This vote was requested by the City as they believed that San Jose Police Officers were not united in their call to restore pay to a level that will stem the tide of veteran officers leaving the force.

"Today's vote sends a clear message to the city leadership to stop playing games and to get serious about solving the reasons behind over 275 officers leaving San Jose over the past several years", said SJPOA Director James Gonzales.

With the exodus of officers, emergency response times have escalated to over 20 minutes for Priority 2 calls and residential burglaries, auto thefts and gang violence have escalated.

"Our membership is united in calling on the city to restore the pay cuts we accepted when times were tough for the city. Now there is a $100 million general fund surplus and we are asking for an immediate restoration of pay to begin to provide enough financial incentive for officers to stay", said SJPOA Director Paul Kelly.

Today, the SJPOA has sent a contract proposal to the City accompanying the membership vote total.

Sign the Petition to Give San Jose Councilmember Liccardo a Dose of Truth

JIM UNLAND is president of the San Jose Police Officers Association and a Sergeant in the San Jose Police Department

The Mercury News conducted an analysis of the most recent Liccardo/Reed police-staffing proposal and confirmed what the POA has been saying for some time; that resignations and retirements will outpace new hires.

Recently, I have written two articles on the Liccardo/Reed proposal to hire 200 additional police officers in the next several years to bring the police force to 1250. The first article highlighted the political motivations behind their proposal and the chicanery Liccardo employs to pay for a salary restoration. The second article I authored concentrated on the impossibility of achieving the staffing goal of 1250 officers within four years as called for by Liccardo and Reed.

On September 7, 2013 Liccardo authored a blog in defense of his "plan." In it he wrote:

Some folks who were not closely following the budget and political battles of the last few years might be surprised that some police union board members and councilmembers—the same ones who opposed efforts to reform skyrocketing pension and benefit programs, like Measure B, which passed with 70% of the electorate’s support–have already attacked this pla n.  As someone who worked daily with San José police officers while serving as a criminal prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office, I know we have some of the finest police officers in the nation. But I disagree with their union board when they oppose a proposal to hire and retain more police officers.

At the risk of sounding conceited, I think he's talking about me. Let me digress for a moment to correct some of the former "criminal prosecutor's" lies. Just because the POA and I strongly opposed Measure B, the illegal pension reform scheme Liccardo gambled on, does not put us in opposition to legal pension reform. Our organization proposed legal pension reform that would have already—legitimately—saved the city millions of dollars and ensured that experienced officers would have stayed here in San Jose fighting crime.

Secondly, Liccardo states that he disagrees with the union board when they oppose his proposal to hire and retain more police officers. A "proposal?" That's what he calls his latest effort to re-invent himself? I propose that, starting tomorrow, all human forms of violence end. Not much chance of that. The point is, Liccardo's proposal and my proposal are no more than wishful thinking. Whatever he wants to call it, Liccardo's police staffing scheme is nothing more than a political stunt. We are losing more officers than we can hire. Liccardo's 4-year pay restoration will do nothing to stop it. It's too little, too late.

It's definitely election time when Liccardo dusts off his tough on crime "criminal prosecutor" mantra. I swear the only reason that I think Liccardo joined the D.A.'s office was so he could use that label to further his political ambitions. Liccardo's voting record tells a different story. He has been a cheerleader for Mayor Reed's dismantling of the San Jose Police Department every step of the way. Now that he sees that crime and police staffing will play a huge role in next year's Mayor’s race, he wants to fool the electorate into thinking he supports the police. He doesn't. Liccardo supports Liccardo.

And so now we will have to endure a year of Liccardo pronouncing that public safety is his top priority. Since when? Public safety wasn't his top priority when he did nothing to prevent the layoffs of San Jose police officers.  Public safety wasn't his top priority when he instituted an across the board pay cut for all city employees. Public safety wasn’t his top priority when he supports a pay increase for SJPOA members of 1.8% versus 2.0% granted to non-public safety city workers.

Liccardo’s a slick politician and a fraud willing to say or do anything to get elected. Now he has launched a self-serving petition to try and demonstrate support for his staffing proposal. Well, enough is enough. Click on this link to sign a petition to the Honorable Councilmember and Former Criminal Prosecutor Sam Liccardo. The petition simply states the following:

Stop playing games with the safety of San Jose neighborhoods. Stop telling the lie that SJPOA did not support legal and lawful pension reform. Stop blaming others for your poor decisions as a Councilmember that have resulted in increased residential burglaries, auto-thefts, violent gang assaults, homicides and drug dealing and made our city less safe than before you took office. Stop lying to the public by saying that public safety is your top priority, because it is not. Stop proposing political stunts to re-invent yourself in the public’s eye and take responsibility for your votes that are dismantling the San Jose Police Department and putting neighborhood safety at risk.

Please log onto the petition today and tell Councilmember Liccardo how you feel.

Pete Constant's Re-hire Proposal Falls Short

JIM UNLAND is president of the San Jose Police Officers Association and a Sergeant in the San Jose Police Department

Councilmember Pete Constant has taken time from defending sugary drinks to join Mayor Reed and fellow mayoral aspirant Sam Liccardo to propose his own police-staffing plan. I am not well read on the qualifications for running for Mayor but it looks like writing a memorandum on police staffing is one of them.

Pete wants everyone to know that he supports Reed's, and his Mayoral rival Sam's, call for hiring an additional 200 officers but acknowledges it will be difficult. To bolster his case, he references the Acting Police Chief in his memorandum, "Our police chief has told us there is a maximum throughput capacity, and that even reaching this capacity with the financial resources we have, we will struggle to add any meaningful number of new officers to the streets."

Reed/Liccardo Staffing Plan Does Not Add Up

JIM UNLAND is president of the San Jose Police Officers Association and a Sergeant in the San Jose Police Department.

Recently, I wrote about the “Police Staffing Restoration Strategy” memorandum authored by Mayor Chuck Reed and Councilmember Sam Liccardo.  I focused on the motive for the memorandum (Sam wants to be Mayor) and the financial games they premise their “plan” to restore the 10% pay cut officers have taken.  Today I’ll take a closer look at the staffing goals Reed and Liccardo throw about and their failure to understand why their police officer retention plan doesn’t add up.

The San Jose Police Department is currently budgeted for 1109 positions including recruits in the academy.  This is down from 1400 a short 5-years ago. Currently, there are 40 recruits in the academy with an expected graduation date of September 27, 2013.  Upon graduation they enter a 4 to 5 month long field training program (FTO).  After they complete FTO, they become probationary officers.  Another academy class is expected to begin in mid-October of 2013 with a maximum capacity of 60

Liccardo and Reed Can't Fix What They Broke

JIM UNLAND is president of the San Jose Police Officers Association and a Sergeant in the San Jose Police Department.

The Mayor’s race has officially begun. Well, it actually began when the socially conservative, tea party stalwart, Pete Constant changed his opposition to support for gay marriage.  But today it was Councilmember Sam Liccardo’s turn to change positions. After spending his tenure at City Hall casting vote after vote to dismantle the police department, Liccardo and Mayor Reed released a memo titled “Police Staffing Restoration Strategy.”

A better title for their memo would have been, "Sam Liccardo is running for Mayor and I want everyone to forget that my votes led to increased violent crime, more gangs, burglaries and auto-thefts”. I’ll highlight some of the details below, but in short, they admit that the police force is understaffed by several hundred officers and that their votes to cut officers pay 10% have led to officers leaving at unprecedented levels.

FPPC Staff Recommends Probable Cause Hearing on SJPOA’s Complaint Against Mayor Chuck Reed

Earlier the Silicon Valley Daily Fetch reported that California’s Fair Political Practices Commission investigation into San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s illegal funneling of campaign cash to assist Rose Herrera may be nearing completion. Chief of Enforcement Gary Winuk is recommending that a hearing be held before the full commission to determine if probable cause exists and if so to issue a Formal Accusation against Mayor Reed. The Commission will vote to schedule the matter at their meeting this Thursday (see item 44 on page 13 of their agenda).

Last October, the FPPC issued a letter indicating that Mayor Reed’s funneling of $100,000 in campaign funds to an “independent expenditure committee” established to support Rose Herrera was illegal and ordered that the money be immediately returned.

Commenting on today's news, SJPOA President Jim Unland said, "We are hopeful that Chuck Reed and his cohorts will be held accountable for their violation of the law and that this episode will shine additional light on a pattern of deceitful and dishonest behavior exhibited by this Mayor and some of his supporters.”

More Fuzzy Math from Mayor Reed--POA 2nd Tier Cost Email to Recruits is Accurate

JIM UNLAND is president of the San Jose Police Officers Association and a Sergeant in the San Jose Police Department.

From the same Mayor who brought us the $650 million bogus pension cost projectioncomes more. A few days ago, the POA sent an email to academy recruits informing them of the rate adopted by the Police and Fire Retirement Board for the cost of the 2nd tier retirement plan. As the email details, when the recruits graduate in September, they will be paying the same rate that Tier 1 members are paying, 21.16% of gross pay. Click here to see that email.

NBC reporter Damian Trujillo asked the Mayor for comment on our email and received a reply from the Mayor’s office courtesy of Dave Low, Policy Advisor/Deputy PIO for Mayor Reed.

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