My Father, Our City

By Casandra Hosseini

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the vigil for victims of violent crime Tuesday night in the San Jose City Hall plaza.

Words can’t describe what I saw there: police officers, fire fighters, and city officials standing together with the families and friends of violent crime victims. I only hope that events like this will lead to a fuller understanding of the personal connection that exists between our public safety officers and the communities they serve.

On May 23, 2008, my father, Vahid Hosseini, went to Bank of the West on First Street to make a withdrawal for our family check cashing business. As he exited the bank, three cowards drove up in a silver SUV. One of them got out of the car, put a gun to my father’s head, and pulled the trigger.

After 11 days of fighting for his life, Vahid Hosseini passed away from his injuries at the young age of 47. My father’s death has completely devastated our family. Not a day goes by that I do not think of him.

Last month, almost one year later, five suspects were arrested for their alleged involvement in my father’s murder. Despite these arrests, there is still a $90,000 reward for information in his case.

Our family is grateful to members of the community, Mayor Chuck Reed, Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers, and most importantly Chief Rob Davis, Detectives Paul Kelly, Mike Brown, and Rikki Goede, and the entire San Jose Police Department for the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication they committed to this case. I strongly believe that if my father had been murdered in any other city, we would still be looking for a suspect.

Unfortunately, there are ongoing cases that might never be solved if our city leaders continue making cuts to public safety. At a time when our city is plagued with violent crime and gang violence, we cannot afford to lose more police officers and crime prevention programs. If anything, we are in desperate need of more public safety funding.

My father’s life was priceless, and no price should be placed on our safety.

It seems we only hear bad news when it comes to the SJPD. We never hear stories of officers working non-stop on their cases, sometimes going weeks without a day off. These men and women risk their lives every day. They’ve taken an oath to protect our community, and they would take a bullet for you and your families.

It takes a very special person to become a police officer, to wake up every morning not knowing if you will make it home to your family that night. I think we owe them a little more respect. Don’t you?