Also, SJPD is starting to add Community Service Officers (CSOs) to assist sworn police officers with lower priority calls for service (traffic collisions, vandalism, etc.). This makes perfect sense, why waste an officer's valuable time with incidents that can be handled without a badge or gun. The CSOs will also cost the city less money, which can free up more budget for additional officers and perhaps higher compensation to help retain/recruit officers.
Good news rarely makes headlines, which is why I'm writing to you today.
San Jose has experienced a significant decrease in serious crime since 2012.
The San Jose Police Department has just posted data for the first half of 2014, and the data shows:
- Total serious crimes dropped by 9.1% from January to June of 2014 (over the same period in 2013). That decline builds on a 10.3% decrease for calendar year 2013.
- Homicides dropped by 20.8% in the first six months of 2014. In 2013, homicides declined by 15.6% over 2012.
- Violent crimes in San Jose in 2013 were at the second-lowest level in a decade.
I want to thank the men and women of the San Jose Police Department for their continued efforts to reduce crime in San Jose. With the leadership of Chief Larry Esquivel, they have responded to problems creatively and redeployed resources effectively.
We are also adding new resources to the department. Last week, our first Community Service Officers graduated from the academy and are in field training. CSOs will assist sworn police officers in investigating and completing police reports on lower priority calls for service, such as property crimes, non-injury traffic collisions, vehicle theft, vandalism, and other non-emergency circumstances. This will allow sworn SJPD officers to focus on responding to high priority emergency calls for service and have more time for more proactive enforcement.
Community Service Officers will be stationed out of the South San Jose Substation. You can learn more in SJPD's press release.
Thank you also to you, your neighborhood associations, and community organizations, for your work with our police department to make our city safer. The positive relationship our police department has with our community is critical to preventing and solving crimes.
Mayor Chuck Reed