San Jose’s Vanishing Police Department

In 2003, the San Jose Police Department employed approximately 1,420 officers. Since that time, nearly 200 of these officers have either retired or found jobs with other cities. As of today, SJPD employs 1,229 sworn officers—less the half the national average for comparably sized cities.

This year, the department will likely lose hundreds of additional officers through a combination of officers leaving for other communities, retirements and layoffs. To those of you thinking, “big deal, we’ll just hire more someday” consider this: it takes nearly two years to train a police officer, and San Jose hasn’t had a police academy since 2008. Additionally, the San Jose Police Department employs some of the most highly trained and educated police officers in the country. Contrary what some believe, many of the officers employed by the San Jose Police Department have undergraduate degrees. Beyond undergraduate education, a large number of our officers also possess Master’s Degrees, Law Degrees and even PhDs. There are San Jose Police Officers who were formerly executives at Silicon Valley tech companies, and others who worked for large financial institutions. These individuals are not police officers because they couldn’t get jobs elsewhere, they are police officers because they legitimately felt the job was their calling in life, and because they saw it as a way that they could make a meaningful contribution to society. It is due in large part to the extraordinary caliber of the individuals employed by the SJPD that the department has for decades been able to “do more with less.” Once these officers are gone, if police pay and retirement benefits are cut as dramatically as the city administration intends, it is unlikely San Jose will be able to attract officers of their caliber in the future.

Today’s current crop of politicians at San Jose’s City Hall—with some exceptions—have put their fingers to the wind and made the shortsighted political calculation that attacking the pay, benefits and working conditions of our highly trained, working class, professional police force will win them ink in the Mercury News, and airtime on Fox News. But long after these politicians have moved on to their next political office, or are enjoying their generous city retirement checks for scant years of service, it will be the people of San Jose who will suffer from longer police response times, and unchecked criminal activity.

The politicians at City Hall seem to have already made up their minds.  The once proud San Jose Police Department will soon be decimated.

To document this slow death of SJPD, Protect San Jose is initiating a new monthly column that will report on the many officers that have left the department in 2010 and 2011.  We will additionally keep a running tally of the training dollars San Jose taxpayers have gifted to other communities.


Resignation Date          Name                          Hiring Department
April 17, 2011                 Jeffery Kopp                Round Rock, TX Police Department
April 17, 2011                 Robert V. Paul              Santa Cruz County Sherriff’s Department
April 17, 2011                 Jordon N. Brownlee      Santa Cruz County Sherriff’s Department
April 17, 2011                 James D. Write            Santa Cruz County Sherriff’s Department
April 17, 2011                 David S. Sullivan          Santa Cruz County Sherriff’s Department
April 6, 2011                   Antonio Figueroa          Watsonville Police Department
February 27, 2011           David Moser                Elk Grove Police Department
February 14, 2011           Ronald Harris               Palo Alto Police Department
February 6, 2011             Joshua Salkeld            Palo Alto Police Department
January 8, 2011              Rory McMilton             Berkeley Police Department
July 29, 2010                  Ronald Parsley            Brentwood Police Department
July 3, 2010                    Nathan Murray             Aromas Police Department
April 3, 2010                   Ivan Loomis                 INFORMATION NOT AVAILABLE
January 1, 2010              Cynthia Kono               Palo Alto Police Department

TOTAL $ SJ TAXPAYERS HAVE GIFTED TO OTHER CITIES SINCE 2010: $2,450,000 ($175,000 in training costs per officer)



Retirement Date           Name
March 20, 2011             William Gonzales
March 5, 2011               Gilbert Zamora
March 3, 2011               Robert Anderson
February 11, 2011          Mark Heller
January 30, 2011           Cynthia Perez
January 23, 2011           Larry McGrady
January 22, 2011           Byron Jones
January 22, 2011           Douglas Grant
January 22, 2011           Randy Changco
January 22, 2011           Michael Ponte
January 22, 2011           Scott Kennedy
January 22, 2011           Mark Efigenio
January 8, 2011             Gregory Morrill
January 6, 2011             Kevin Ray
December 25, 2010        John Como
December 25, 2010        Michael Mattocks
December 25, 2010        Dave Schaeffer
December 2, 2010          Garyn Scott
October 30, 2010           Steven Gutierrez
October 7, 2010             William Vankey
September 18, 2010       Peter Scanlan
September 4, 2010        George Graham
August 21, 2010            John Rusyn
August 21, 2010            Mikael Niehoff
August 21, 2010            Jeffrey Kozlowski
July 31, 2010                Mark Bennett
July 24, 2010                Anthony Colon
June 27, 2010               Robert Dominguez
June 26, 2010               Christopher Passeau
June 26, 2010               Vaughan Edwards
June 26, 2010               Truman Boman
June 26, 2010               Ruben Chavez
June 26, 2010               Bobby St. Amour
June 26, 2010               Robert Mendiola
June 26, 2010               Rene Retuta
June 26, 2010               Nestor Torres
June 26, 2010               Neal Wilson
June 26, 2010               Millard Hampton
June 26, 2010               Michael Brown
June 26, 2010               Matthew McLinden
June 26, 2010               Mark Goings
June 26, 2010               Luis Pinheiro
June 26, 2010               Lloyd Cardone
June 26, 2010               Kim Shuper
June 26, 2010               John Carrillo
June 26, 2010               Jeff Ricketts
June 26, 2010               Ernesto Alcantar
June 26, 2010               Donald Moore
June 26, 2010               Donald Anders
June 26, 2010               Dean Ackemann
June 26, 2010               Curtis Jackson
June 26, 2010               Anthony Young
June 26, 2010               Alfred Ferla
June 25, 2010               Michael Crescini
June 12, 2010               William Orok
May 29, 2010                Charles Gould
May 15, 2010                Bertie Cooke
May 15, 2010                Camille Giuliodibari
May 2, 2010                  Daniel Katz
May 1, 2010                  Steven Pryor
April 17, 2010                Jack Overstreet
April 16, 2010                David Yazzolino
April 14, 2010                Greg Sancier
February 13, 2010          Terrance Boyle
February 6, 2010            Peter Decena
February 6, 2010            Craig Tarr
February 6, 2010            Alfred Sutcliff
February 6, 2010            Eric Sills
February 6, 2010            Dorr Shimamoto
January 31, 2010           Karol Roy
January 30, 2010           Wayne (Lawrence) Jones
January 30, 2010           Robert Miller
January 30, 2010           Dale Morgan
January 24, 2010           Anthony Weir
January 23, 2010           Margaret Edillo-Brown
January 23, 2010           Donald Parks
January 23, 2010           Phillip Malvini
January 23, 2010           William Smoke
January 23, 2010           Abraham Galvan
January 23, 2010           Richard Williams
January 23, 2010           Santiago Trejo
January 23, 2010           Gilbert Torres
January 23, 2010           Darrell Cortez
January 23, 2010           Douglas Rock
January 23, 2010           Gunther Riedel
January 23, 2010           Steve Papenfuhs
January 23, 2010           Mark Muldrow
January 23, 2010           Michael McLaren
January 23, 2010           Michael McElvy
January 23, 2010           William Mason
January 23, 2010           Jeffrey Martin
January 23, 2010           Julie Marin
January 23, 2010           Michael Leininger
January 23, 2010           Robert Higginson
January 23, 2010           Robert Froese
January 23, 2010           Michael Fernandez
January 23, 2010           Veronica Damon
January 23, 2010           Victor Barnett
January 23, 2010           Alan Damon
January 9, 2010             John Esparza
January 9, 2010             Michael Hahn
January 9, 2010             Larry Holmes
January 9, 2010             Paul Shuman
January 9, 2010             Ernest Kong
January 9, 2010             Michael Smith
January 9, 2010             Michael Conroy
January 8, 2010             Karl Micotti
January 7, 2010             Craig Clifton 



Are there plans to update

Are there plans to update this list? Perhaps the laid off officers could be a seperate section... I know that quite a few officers have left since April.


My Two Cents cont...

If more citizens knew that this Mayor and city council do not place their Public Safety as a priority, maybe they should contact their respected council members and demand that Public Safety be made a priority, instead of (issuing pink slips) laying off officers. I am glad that when I retire in a few months, I can move to a safer big city that respects, listens to it constituents, and acts accordingly with regard to Public Safety

My Two Cents

Having read some of the recent comments, I felt I had share my experiences. I am eligible to retire in just a few months after 25 years of service to the City and community. One of the things that I don't see reported in the main stream media is that in contract negotiations from previous years the SJPOA membership took smaller pay raises or no pay raises to achieve the enhanced retirement benefits that the Mayor (and then council member Chuck Reed who voted in favor of said contracts) and city council members approved and who now seem to think are out of control. If they did not wish to agree to these benefits they could have availed themselves of the binding arbitration process they decided to weaken when they put Measures V and W on the ballot measure with the smoke and mirrors of the political process they employ. (So much for openness from a reputed sunshine council).

The City Manager (Debra Figone) in her own report dated 09/22/2010 (

Page VII-238 reports that 22% of responding citizens identified crime, gangs/violence,drugs and MORE police as the most serious issues City Government should address. (It should be noted the SJPD gang unit was disbanded on 9/20/2010)

On page VII-240 Reduction in police staffing would result in reduced solve rate of specific crimes, delays in contacting victims, and number of cases not assigned due to lack of resources. "cases with less solvability or little outcome WOULD NOT BE INVESTIGATED"

Page VII-281 San Jose was NOT within the target of 30% below rates for the nation and State. San Jose's crime rates are EXPECTED to increase.

Page VII-282 "With proposed reductions to patrol staffing in 2010-2011, it is EXPECTED that patrol officers may no longer be able to dedicate time to PROACTIVE COMMUNITY policing.

Page VII-287 The number of cases not assigned due to lack of resources is EXPECTED to increase to approximately 6,000 in 2010-2011.

Page VII-297 response times are also expected to increase.

Enough of this band wagon, lets go on.

The Main Lobby of the police department used to be open 24 hours to accommodate the citizens of the City. A year ago the hours were reduced to 14 (from 0800-2200). As of March 20, 2011, the hours have been further reduced to 9 hours (0800-1700).

Citizens requesting police clearance letters, and those wishing to obtain copies of police reports are limited to 4 hours a day.

Citizens involved in minor traffic accidents, or hit and run accidents are now routinely directed to the Main Lobby to complete their own accident reports with forms provided to them at the lobby. Most of these reports completed by the citizens will not be investigated due to lack of manpower.

I am one

I am one of those officers listed as having retired within the last six months. I did not want to retire, I was essentially forced to retire. I proudly served the San Jose Police Department and the community for over 25 years. I was born and raised in San Jose, a hometown boy. Despite having numerous other job opportunities, I chose serving my community as a career. Upon joining I knew that the retirement benefits were good, but I also knew that my pay would never reach the levels enjoyed by many working in Silicon Valley. I traded a fat bank account, boom time perks and potentially lucrative stock options for honorable service, a simple but comfortable financial life and the privilege of working with some of the finest individuals I have ever met.

As a San Jose Police Officer, and then Sergeant, I enjoyed outstanding training, numerous and diverse assignments, and steadily honed my craft over the years. I was saddened that the City of San Jose through their scare tactics, bad faith negotiations, and short-sighted financial planning put me in a position where I had to leave at the top of my game. Those many years of training and experience had placed me in a respected and coveted position. Nonetheless, given the City's ruthless and vicious tactics, I was compelled to leave before my pay and benefits were reduced below industry standards. It was my intent to work a full thirty year career. Nevertheless, it became clear that the City was holding open the door for me despite losing five years of the some of the most productive time of my career.

I know that I was not alone in this predicament. I see many of my co-workers, and even academy mates, on that retirement list. Many of those listed names are excellent employees who chose to leave earlier than they had planned. The wealth and breadth of experience lost by early retirement is a travesty and cannot be understated. Many of the people you see on that retirement list are taking their incredible talents to other agencies or into the private sector. Whereas the City of San Jose could be reaping the benefits of decades of training and experience, they are forcing some of the best and brightest out of the SJPD and into the willing arms of other organizations. Sadly, given the City's current attitude this exodus of talent will no doubt be perpetuated. In fact, as the City of San Jose strives to further reduce pay and benefits, the SJPD will soon be regarded as a last choice amongst police applicants within Santa Clara County and even statewide. SJPD once enjoyed a reputation as a top notch agency with decent pay, excellent training, a multitude of job assignments, and a supportive community.

Unfortunately this has changed dramatically. This would not be such a crisis if every surrounding agency were in the same situation. However, just like the private sector, police agencies continue to compete for the best talent. Other municipalities recognize the importance of having the best possible police candidates by offering competitive salaries and benefits, continuous training, and vocal support. The City of San Jose is knowingly choosing to place themselves at the bottom of the barrel in Santa Clara County. Each citizen should be asking themselves how far down they are willing to go when it comes to public safety. Who do they want stopping their 16 year old daughter in the wee hours of the morning? Who do they want searching their businesses during a burglar alarm response absent any oversight? Who do they want trying to negotiate with a mentally ill subject who is threatening the community? Who do they want investigating the heinous sexual assault of a loved one?

As in all things, you get what you pay for. Low pay, minimal benefits, low public support, and governmental disdain for a police agency is an open invitation to corruption and catastrophic mistakes the result in loss of life and massive lawsuits. Citizens of San Jose, is this what you want in your city? I would suggest that rather than discounting the information presented to you by the SJPOA as greedy gravy train passengers trying to retain their grasp on the feed trough that you do your homework. Cast aside your natural inclination towards jealousy, pull off the City issued blinders, and pour out that political Kool-Aid before it is too late. The fatal damage that is being done to one of the finest police agencies in the nation by myopic politicians with nothing but short-term plaudits as their goal will be fait accompli if you do not wake up and act now. Additionally, it is you the citizens that will pay the greatest price for the self-serving ill-conceived and disingenous tactics of your elected officials.

Core Service

Core Service
The police department of any City is its most important service. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. San Jose City Leaders are very short sighted by continuing to attack and cut the Department. Police officers are the only proactive part of government. They don’t just sit behind a desk or in a firehouse waiting for the next phone call. They patrol throughout the City stopping and detaining burglars, drug addicts, and gang members before they commit crime. San Jose has done more with less for years because of the tenacity of the officers who work there. But those years of work seem to be coming to an end.

By the Mayors constant attacks in the media, I see the proactive style of police work that has been the backbone of the Department for years slowly coming to an end. Proof would seem to be staring City leaders right in the face. The Department’s prisoner processing center sometimes only processes one prisoner in a ten hour shift. Compare that to five years ago when the center, which holds rooms for more than twenty prisoners, would routinely close for fear of safety problems due to overcrowding.

The City continues to show that it does not care about its most important resource. Think about it, would you go out and continue to risk your safety making stops on dangerous felons when your employer doesn’t care about you? When they have told you that we are building a new senior citizens center in St. James park and are taking on other projects too but you will be out of a job come July. No wonder many San Jose Police Officers have decided to go sit behind a building and play it safe. No wonder many are looking for another job in a community where the leaders there understand how important some core services are. No one will visit your new airport, an A’s stadium, or that new community center if crime is out of control and they don’t feel safe.

Less is more....

The numbers don't lie...200 fewer officers but the population of the CIty since 2003 has grown approximately 100,000 all the while annexing virtually all of the areas that were once jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Office. The City subsidizing other jurisdictions recruiting and training of officers is ridiculous. The money that was gifted will have to be reinvested in new officers in the next few years when another 150-200 more officers retire out, leaving the Department with 1000 officers.

So what happens now? How does the Department maintain response time and clearance rates? Simple, not respond to calls that are currently dispatched. Not assign cases that would otherwise be assigned. You maintain response time and clearance rates. BUT the real effect? The City, in its infinite wisdom, believes that if we can still respond to Priority One calls in under 5min (or whatever the time is) and still maintain high clearance rates with 200 fewer officers than in 2003, then 1229 officers will do the job as will 1175...1150...1125...1100....... and where does it end? Perhaps with the 1000 officers that remain in 2013, unless more jump off this Titanic