Police Chief Recruitment Community Meeting

I attended the first community meeting regarding the selection of the next San Jose Police Chief on Tuesday,  Aug. 24 at the Roosevelt Community Center.  Approximately 21 people attended. Attendees were divided into small groups to discuss five questions. I did not see any police officers however they may have been in attendance but remained anonymous.

Translation services were available in both Spanish and Vietnamese and printed material was provided in alternative languages as well. The cost for the recruiter is $26,000 to conduct the search including interviewing prospective candidates. San Jose is also paying up to $13,000 for travel expenses for all prospective candidate interviews since this is a national search.  The goal is to pick a new Police Chief by the end of 2010. 

In addition stakeholder outreach will be done with specific groups including La Raza, AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement) and PACT (People Acting in Community Together).

We have great internal candidates for Police Chief, like Captain Gary Kirby, Deputy Chief Diane Urban and Assistant Chief Chris Moore.

Here is some feedback given from all the tables that night:

What are the most important issues that you would like the new Police Chief to address?
Transparency; oversight; importance of the Independent Police Auditor; mental health issues; acknowledge good officers; more access to police records; police rotations should be longer to promote relationships between officers and residents; Gangs; racial profiling; police brutality; work with “immigrant” community.

What experience and track record should the new Police Chief have?
Experience managing a budget and under-budget; mediation skills; understands community view and police view; long history in one geography; trilingual or at least bilingual; history of promoting diverse officers; someone who changed perception of police from negative to positive; street-cop experience; manage complex organization; experience with a multi-cultural community; success in lowering crime however some thought statistics lie and this was unfair to use crime stats; track record of firing police.

Is there anything else you would like the City to consider when selecting the new Police Chief?
Should be pro-immigrant; skilled communicator; less on results more on initiatives; know the background/did their homework on issues facing San Jose; sustainable results over a period of time; at least five years of experience running large organization; speak in simple English not bureaucratic-speak; should recruit new police officers from the immigrant community; mail residents letters with the name of their local police officers and of course a sense of humor.

What are you willing to do or contribute to help the new Police Chief?
Attend more meetings; build bridges in the community; provide a report card on how new police chief is doing; pass out information; assist with outreach; be open minded.

The four groups provided feedback that essentially requires our next police chief to walk on water.

Does this feedback match your viewpoints?

There are three community meetings left:

Monday, Aug. 30, 7-9pm
San Jose City Hall Committee Rooms

Wednesday, Sept. 1, 6-8pm
West Valley Library
1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd

Thursday, Sept. 2, 6-8pm
Eastside Union High District Office
830 North Capitol Ave

You can give your feedback to these five questions via this email: [email protected]

Or fill out an online Community-Police Chief survey by clicking this link.

Finally congratulations to the Mayor and RDA for locating another company in San Jose. Baxano, a medical device company, moved from Mountain View to San Jose. The CEO mentioned that one of the reasons for selecting San Jose was the proximity to our airport plus getting all of their permits in five days.


  1. Councilman-
    No officers were in attendance for two reasons.

    1. Our duty manual prohibits us from engaging directly in political issues while in uniform or on duty.

    2. The city doesn’t give a rats-behind what the rank and file thinks anyway. You have shown us that.

    I do have to at least acknowledge that you show some foresight in that we do have qualified candidates internally. It was with a very large sigh of relief that the list you put forth did not include our two most pompous chief officers (BFO and BOA)

    • The City COuncilman’s Duty Manual says “steal campaign signs on issues you oppose. ” and “if anybody gives you a hard time about it mnake sure you have the City Attorney on speed dial.”

  2. Ok,

    So the city is wasting 13K per “applicant”? For what?? Are we flying these applicants in 1st class and putting them up in a suite at the Fairmont? Come on!! What a JOKE!!Just another scam by our elcted city officials to waste our money! I’m guessing there’s probably 20 or so outside applicants, plus that generous 26K were laughably paying to a “recruiter” for 2 months of work to interview. Are you kidding? What a bunch of hypocrites!! You want pay cuts for cops and firefighters to pay for baseball stadiums and top shelf job placement services instead???

    In the “financial crisis” that the city is in, I’m glad to see that our elected officials are taking the matter so seriously…

      • The ridiculous notion that prospective police chiefs should have their expenses paid, as if they were royalty being courted, is a relatively new phenomenon and can be directly linked to that most malignant of cancers, multiculturalism; whose rise has created, from the vast human resources of American law enforcement, a select group of police managers who’ve made themselves attractive by turning their backs on the principles and commitments upon which the foundations of professional policing rest. These men and women, skilled in correct-speak and false sincerity, have sworn their allegiance to the diversity scourge, ready to promise solutions but serve only politics. Some of these people are genuinely smart, most are simply ruthless and cunning, while others are nothing more than the preferred color or gender.

        Cities are willing to pick up the tab, and offer huge salaries and benefits, because they know these transient professionals—devoid of loyalty to anything but that next dip in the compensation pool, will give them what they want: another easy-to-control outlet for their multicultural nonsense. They stick around for four or five years, generate lots of memos and press releases, absorb the standard dose of race-based character slurs, accomplish nothing other than to promote a few tokens and themselves, then await to be feted by yet another municipality in search of a fresh, brightly-polished whore.

        • You miss my point: unlike talent in the private sector, police chiefs do not save companies or make stock holders rich; what they do is administer agencies governed by rigid rules, tasked with strictly defined responsibilities, and staffed by employees trained to state-mandated standards. The police profession is filled with people capable of leading departments, perhaps as many as 5% of officers of the quality found in most Bay Area cities. That’s hundreds of prospective leaders right here within driving distance.

          The one and only reason for a nationwide search is this city’s commitment to feeding the multicultural beast. All this nonsense about finding a chief with innovative solutions, a track record of working with the community, etc., is not about seeing to the problems of the many (which is the chief’s job), it’s about temporarily satisfying the special interests and perennial losers of the few (a job politicians have embraced). And the operative word here is temporary: it will never be in the political interests of the NAACP or La Raza to remain satisfied.

          Check the record. How has Oakland fared after three plus decades of seeking faraway saviors? Or Richmond? Those are small cities with easily identifiable problems, yet regardless of their nationwide efforts their crime problems have only worsened. Here in San Jose, where youth gangs are today typically responsible for most of the murders, I call your attention to the Joe McNamara administration—he the wunderkind from New York: in the years when gangs were getting their foothold here, McNamara, loyal only to his reputation and goal of someday taking the helm at NYPD, consistently denied their existence, aggressively stifling and infuriating the good cops who wanted to nip the problem in the bud. You see, having youth gangs emerge under his watch would not have looked good on his résumé, so like the little king he thought he was, he issued his proclamation of denial and left this city the worse for his time here.

          The police chief’s job pays a lot of money to lead a fine department with a well-trained, professional staff. If there’s someone faraway who’s especially right for the job, I’m sure he can pay his own way.

        • I’m not a big Public Sector supporter, and think they are over paid and waste a lot of money, but most private sector companies pay travel expenses for anyone having to fly to an interview.

        • “feeding the multicultural beast”

          Just say what you actually mean in clear English. Which is “I don’t want a non-white chief.”

          Last thing SJ needs is a Glen Beck wanabe.

        • Alum Rock,

          Please allow me to correct you: the last thing SJ needs is an arrogant psychic. That you believe to know, in spite of the bluntness of my post, what I “actually” mean tells me there’s a place for you in the Obama administration, perhaps as Czar of the soon-to-be-created Disallowed Thoughts Department.

          By the way, I’ve heard of Glen Beck but have never heard or read him, so maybe you’d best have that metal colander you wear on your head adjusted for reception.

        • AlumRock,

          If you had a clue you might be dangerous…

          Did it ever occur to you that Beck’s rhetoric might not be original? Or that, rather than parroting something I picked up from the media my “bull” might be based on personal observations and experience? The local example of harm I provided had nothing to do with race (McNamara is white), but had everything to do with our government kowtowing to the agenda of racists, like those of La Raza, who put their acquisition of power ahead of the public good.

          With the local example I provided, how the hell could you accuse me of parroting Glen Beck? Why not instead try to dispute the historical accuracy of what I said?

          To conclude from my assertion that perhaps as many as 5% of Bay Area police professionals have the tools and talents to lead a department that what I want is a “white chief” is, in a word, ignorant.

          As for your equally ignorant bigotry accusation, your unsubstantiated and incorrect “belief” that opinions like mine are indigenous to any particular area of the country, or particularly to the South, qualifies you as a bigot. Look it up.

          Lastly, this state has never been multicultural, at least not in the political, academic sense I used in my post. There has always been a “dominant culture” here, whether it was Native American, Spanish, or American. If you can’t understand the very real distinction between true “multiculturalism” and a mix of cultures living under a dominant cultures, then I suspect you’ve overdosed on the Kool-aid.

        • Considering you used the exact same screed against “multiculturalism” that Beck did, I didn’t need to be a physic. Your post smells of the same angry white take back “our country” bull that spews out of FOX everyday. Of course you make no effort to comment on the main angle of my post, which is that you want a white chief.

          The anti-Multiculturalism, etc… is just the right’s new wording for “whites only.” America, whether, you want to accept it or not, has always been multicultural. California belonged to the indigenous peoples, then Spain, then Mexico, and now America. That’s multicultural. Take your bigotry back to the South.

        • Obfuscate all you want. Regardless of your attempt to hide behind academic wording, your bigotry is still there.

          And I understand “multiculturalism,” both in a colloquial and academic sense very well. America is “multicultural” in both senses. A simple and readily accessible example is our diet. Pizza, tacos, pasta, burgers, etc… is a amalgam of different cultures melded together. 

          The point of your original post is still clear: Anglo/Saxon/Protestant is better and any effort to find a chief with broader ethnic experience is a waste. 

          Just to make this clear. I don’t care what color the chief is, I want a chief that will work hard to keep criminals off the street, whether they are latino gang bangers, white scam artist, vietnamese thugs, whatever.

          And, having lived in the South during my time in uniform, I can say it is certainly a place where race matters. Of course there are racists everywhere, just as there are some fine and wonderful people in the South, but I have never experience outright racial hostility anywhere else like in the Deep South.

  3. You are correct about Capt Kirby and AC Moore. Both are highly respected by rank and file.

    “Pro-immigrant”? “Immigrant” community?? Wow, where to begin with those…

    • I think at least part of the explanation might be that the new chief must believe that he and his superiors are so enlightened, they need not enforce Federal immigration law.

      • I’m all for enforcing immigration law, but that should be left up to the feds. SJPD has enough work to do.

        If in the course of their normal work, SJPD arrest an illegal, fine transfer them to ICE. But, we should have them sweeping the streets and wasting their time on Juan the gardner or Pablo the busboy.

        • On the one hand, no, the primary mission of SJPD should not be immigration enforcement. However, we should be both free and encouraged to enforce all laws at every level as we encounter opportunities to do so. If that means citing a drunk for drinking in a park, so be it. If it is an arrest for drug or weapon possession, so be it. If it is arresting someone who is an illegal immigrant when we have encountered that person in the normal course and scope of our duties (and not racial profiling, etc.) then we should be free to do that as well.

          At least that would serve the purpose of truly impartial enforcement as opposed to picking and choosing the laws which are enforced as a matter of local ‘policy’.

        • Hispanic Cop,
          Very well said. I don’t think people understand that a Police Officer should not be asked to pick and chose which laws they enforce. Week after week I read about illegals committing felonies and let go on bail. I find this a real travesty to the American people. By American I mean citizens of all races. 

          My friend Vahid Hosseini was murdered. He was shot in the head and left for dead after being robbed outside a bank. Several of the people involved not only had prior criminal records, but they were here illegally. May be if our judicial system, and our Federal Government would start doing their jobs properly by enforcing the law, my friend would still be here today.

        • AlumRock,

          California Penal Code Section 834b

          (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully
          cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.

          (b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:

          (1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status.

          (2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States.

          (3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity.

          (c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.

        • You fail to make one important distinction. Separation of powers.

          Under our system of government the local PD does not enforce securities law, anti-trust law, espionage, etc… Just as the FBI, ATF, etc.. does not do traffic stops. We have distinct separations built into our constitution for a reason. 

          But, it sounds like you and I almost agree. You shouldn’t be out actively looking for illegals, but if you come across one engaged in act that cause you to detain or question, them I’m not saying don’t arrest.

        • Let’s review the section of the CA Code you just posted, just like in a 1L class.

          The Code is clear, cooperate with ICE and if you arrest someone you can check their status. Nowhere does it mandate our authorize sweeps solely on the basis of immigration status.

          With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:

          Please note: “any such person who is arrested, and suspected”

          It doesn’t say “any such person who is arrested under suspicion”

          Here is my point, as a PO if you arrest someone for a crime and suspect they are an illegal, then go for it call ICE. What I don’t want is PO actively sweeping the streets for people solely on immigration status.

          What’s your view? Active sweeps or just passive cooperation? I’m not clear on why you posted the code.

        • The code does not refute my point, it reinforces it. It clearly states that ICE (previously INS) is the agency with jurisdiction and that federal law applies. And, most states have the same (or similar) directives on the books.

          Having tangentially dealt with immigrations case in the past, it can be a complex. For example, an illegal who is a victim of a crime can be granted a U visa if they cooperate with the government and help put the criminals away. This mostly used in slavery/indentured servitude prosecutions. 

          But, it actually looks like you and I aren’t that far part on our stances. The one thing I’d like to see is some discretion given to locals. For example, I had a buddy who was a local PO who had a source that was an illegal but always provide great intel on the what was going on, and he never report the guy because he need him.

        • Alum Rock,

          The reason I posted the code is two-fold, first because it directly refutes your point regarding the “separation of powers,” and second, because in the furor over Arizona’s new law the media has been suspiciously quiet about similar directives that have been in effect in California for decades.

          As for my personal view, I’m for the police doing what they traditionally did regarding illegal aliens, which is alert the feds to the status of arrested persons, and fully cooperate with ICE without hesitation (including, when requested, sweeps).

          Our elected and appointed leaders have repeatedly violated this section of the penal code by preventing, through direct order, coercion, and intimidation, their employees from cooperating with the feds (this includes our current DA as well as former DA George Kennedy).

  4. Pier,
    Everyone knows this is a dog and pony show designed for fringe groups to air their complaints about the police. As Officer Z said, the city doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what the officers have to say. To quote from the movie, “You can’t handle the truth”.

    Why did the council and mayor think it was so important enough to specifically seek guidance from groups like La Raza? There are so many community groups representing so many points of view, and yet the city council and mayor shoulder tapped La Raza.

    By the way, when are you, the council, and the mayor going to address the fact that Pete Constant, the staunch Republican and fiscal conservative, is collecting both a salary from the city AND a pension from the city. That is called “double dipping”. His pension should be suspended while he serves his time on the city council. Does he also get medical payments in lieu from the city, since both positions provide medical insurance?

    • > That is called “double dipping”. His pension should be suspended while he serves his time on the city council.

      Double dipping is not illegal.

      It’s a policy issue.  I suspect that it happens all the time in the public sector. 

      I just spoke in the last month with a retired municipal HR manager (not San Jose) who said that his phone was “ringing off the hook” and he was busier that every with “consulting contracts” with local governments.

      If you are really alarmed with the abuse of double dipping by craven politicians, you should start with the Chief Dipper of the State of California, Jerry Brown.

      I’m up for a COMPLETE audit of double dipping by politicians and government employees.  Are you?

      • Of course double dipping is not illegal as of now. I never said it was. PLO, Pete Constant and the Mayor are supposedly for pension reform, so why not start with Constant and his double dipping? I would absolutely be for an audit of politicians and government employees who are double dipping.

    • Regarding Pete Constant, why hasn’t anyone addressed this or written about it (like the Mercury News, or the Metro’s Fly)?  He collects about $100k total salary for city council (per the government employee salary database on the Mercury News website), plus medical disability retirement from the police department (which I’m guessing helped pay for the recent fishing trip and helped him hold up some of the sport fish he caught like a Hammerhead or Marlin? pictured on his Facebook account), and in three years, he will also be eligible to collect his pension?!  And didn’t he also author or help pass a rule stating city employees who retired on medical disability could not go back and work for the city, in effect double dipping, after he was elected to the city council?  Why hasn’t anyone addressed THIS?

      • Damn, Pete Constant is holding some pretty damn big fish on his Facebook pictures for a guy who has a debilitating back injury. I imagine the pictures won’t be on there for long now that the issue has been raised.

  5. ah…  “The four groups provided feedback that essentially requires our next police chief to walk on water.”

    That’s our PLO, always respecting the vox populi. For those lucky enough to live in other council districts, we in 6 see this kind of behavior from our legally ‘lected representative and His Royal Staff on a frequent basis. Public input be damned, our office has already decided what you think, what you want and need, and what we will do.

    Honest, PLO, the city, the consultant or any candidiates for Police Chief probably don’t think that the sum of public comments = the mission for the job. it’s: public: comment. It’s a sense of what the public might want to see in their (yes, their) chief—because the taxpaying public are the folks who will pay the chief’s salary, just like we’re paying for all of the former chiefs’ salaries.

    And paying your salary, Councilmember.

  6. We should just promote someone from inside the department.  This should be standard operating procedure, whenever there is a vacancy for fire chief, chief of police, city manager, etc.  I can’t help but think the Deputy Chief of Police for San Jose might be better qualified to be Chief of Police for this city, than, say, the Chief of Police from Tucson, Arizona, or whatnot.

    Plus, all other factors being approximately equal, why shouldn’t the plum jobs tend to go to locals, anyway?  Instead of giving all the power, prestige, and money to a class of rootless cosmopolitan “public servants” who just float from gig to gig, in quest of an ever-higher compensation package?

    • Hi Kevin.

      I agree completely.  Who better to lead the SJPD, than someone who’s familiar with the city, the politics, the people, etc.

      Someone from another state just isn’t going to have that intrinsic knowledge of the city.

      This was one of the reasons Chief Lansdowne was so loved by the police.  He was a cop first (who moved through the ranks to chief) and a desk jockey second.  I heard from several cops that during chases, he would get in a squad car and personally supervise the chase.

  7. Council Member Oliverio,

    One of the reasons you got answers like this is because like the IPA’s position, very few people even understand what the Chief of Police does, whom he/she reports to, and what the limitations of that position are. It is my belief that we are in this mess because the City has allowed activists to mandate and control positions they think will advance their personal political agendas, as evidenced by the article in today’s Mercury News.

    Our City Manager is being beaten up for trying to conduct interviews and a search by complying with current employment laws. Her efforts are being challenged as unfair to the community, instead of them acknowledging her efforts to include them in the process through community meetings. (BTW- I didn’t see many of them in this meeting, or at the Candle Lit Vigil for Victims of Violent Crime that they claim they care so much about either.)

    I personally feel that having community meetings, and allowing public input is a fair process. Giving input doesn’t mean they’ll follow every one of our suggestions though, it just means they’re trying to meet the needs of the public in allowing them to take part in the process. 

    While I do believe change needs to happen, I believe that change needs to start in our own communities. If you were watching your neighbor’s backs, and they yours, things would be a lot better. And if non-profits and activists would work to bring the PD and our community together, instead of pointing fingers, the change everyone wants to see would happen.

  8. “Translation services were available in both Spanish and Vietnamese.”

    Oh, well, isn’t that special! 24 people show up, and someone [that would be the taxpayers] paid for translators in 2 languages??!! We’re going to cater to people who live here and take advantage of all our services who haven’t the common courtesy of learning the language of the country THEY CHOSE to come to?!

    “In addition stakeholder [there’s a word that needs to be stricken from the language] outreach will be done with specific groups including La Raza, AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement) and PACT (People Acting in Community Together).”

    That will guarantee a lack of agreement on what our new chief should be like.
    A camel is a horse built through community outreach.

    Can’t we just get a chief who will back up his men and women and enforce the law equally, even if it’s not PC?

  9. The simple answer to what I want in a police chief is “the best person available.” It’s not rocket science we’re talking about here, running a police department NEED NOT be complicated. A chief’s primary concern should be about safety: that of the public and the officers protecting it, not the safety of his (read his/her) job or professional reputation. The cops out there on the street put their LIVES on the line everyday for the job, yet rare is the chief or top commander with enough integrity or courage to risk even a blotch on his résumé.

    But of course running a police department has become complicated, because idiot politicians have made it that way…. behold your list of concerns:

    “pro-immigrant”—What you mean is “pro illegal immigrant” but you’re too cowardly to say it. What you want to know about a candidate is whether he’s committed to enforcing the laws on the books—in keeping with the separation of powers that lies at the very foundation of our government, or if his true commitment is to kowtowing to a clutch of morally corrupt, spineless politicians. One can only wonder how flexible about the rule of law progressives might be should the governor of a “pro-life” state decide to ignore Roe v. Wade. Hypocrisy is what fuels the political engine of diversity.

    “relationships between officers and residents”—Are you nuts? “Residents” wave at passing cops and call on them when thieves burgle their homes but otherwise have no need of a relationship with their beat cop. How many Saratogans know the name of the officer patrolling their street. Probably not even one, yet law enforcement remains popular and appreciated there. In truth, the “relationships” of your concern are with that part of the community whose children are gang-bangers, unwed parents, dropouts, and whose adult members are disproportionately substance abusers and career criminals. With at most 500 cops working beats, what you’re proposing is a 2000 citizen-relationships per cop. Please, get a clue!

    “racial profiling”—Car and pedestrian stops are either legal or illegal, dependent upon a cause that can be determined in court. The actions of individual officers are either reasonable or unreasonable. That is all a police chief need address, and he has plenty of tools to correct problems. Buying into the race-profiteers’ concerns is an investment in a quagmire from which the only escape is moral bankruptcy. Racial profiling has become whatever cop-haters say it is, making it a cause best left to fools. I want a chief who understands that courts, not newspapers, are the place for such cases to be heard.

    “more access to police records”—In a city in which the true budget is presented to the public like a pea in a shell game, having the council champion access to records is laughable. Access to police records has become an issue for one reason: minorities are so over-represented in those records—as described suspects, perpetrators, and combative arrestees—that the data represent a bounty of statistics suitable for twisting into evidence of racism. No doubt, should they get their feelers on the paperwork, termites and cockroaches could make a great case of discrimination against the Orkin man.

    “trilingual or at least bilingual”—The laws are written in English, and they apply to everyone, even those who crossed the border in the trunk of a car. This city is just now saying goodbye to a chief who was trilingual (English, Spanish, Eunuch), something that helped him not one iota in getting a fair shake from local Hispanic rabble-rousers, who, perhaps after reviewing their children’s SATs, realized that their only source of power lies in victimhood and reckless breeding.

    “track record of firing police”—What, you going to check his belt for scalps? Is that what it takes to appease local low-brows? By the way, I think you omitted an important word there, between “firing” and “police,” you forgot to add “white.”

    Whatever it is we get for a chief one thing is for certain, it will not be a plain-speaking, no-nonsense, honest law enforcer of the Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio model, who has, with his every reelection, proved what the true COMMUNITY really wants.

    • You are sooooo right in your assessments!  Our local politicians are little more than hostages of the PC game, too cowardly to tell it like it really is. Thanks for speaking your mind.

    • I have never seen someone hit this nail right on the head. One other thing I take issue with is the “history of promoting diverse officers;”. Confirm we live in one of the most diverse areas in the united states and the candiates are already diverse. The therory of “history of promoting diverse officers;” is so 1990’s.

    • Well put brother, center of the target. I doubt the esteemed Councilman will respond. He responds only to praise or with a short clever quip.

      • Again these were the responses from the attendees from the first meeting.  If you would like to be heard I strongly suggest attending the meeting tonight and tomorrow night.

        • Let’s hear your response to all of these issues. What are your priorities? Or it that not for public consumption?? Let’s be transparent Mr. Councilman shall we,…?

        • Officer Xavier

          As I wrote:

          “The four groups provided feedback that essentially requires our next police chief to walk on water.”


          “We have great internal candidates for Police Chief, like Captain Gary Kirby, Deputy Chief Diane Urban and Assistant Chief Chris Moore.”

          It is a process which tries to please critics of police performance,which is not me. I just want someone who is qualified, good track record and is respected by the police force.

        • 1) I believe from my conversations with officers the internal SJPD people listed are respected by rank and file.

          2) Use the millions in HNVF Tobacco funding for services listed in city charter like public safety. I wrote a memo on this for the last budget year but was not accepted. Otherwise not every position is equal at the city, so in lieu of pension reform or tax revenues climbing we must allow services like maintenance to be done at a lower cost and/or allow volunteers the ability to do more.

        • Fair enough,…however, how will you know if the rank and file respect the candidate(s) if said candidate(s) are kept undisclosed/confidential?

          Regarding police performance, is it not handicapping SJPD if we do not have standard industry staffing? “Less with less” was years ago. You obviously influence/direct spending priorities and staffing/hiring,…what say you?

        • Pier,
          How about if you and the city council quit paying Pete Constant a disabilty check when he is also collecting a paycheck from the city? There is $50k a year you could use for something else.

        • Pierluigi—- Captain Gary Kirby and DC Urban?  Are you kidding?  You must be smoking the same stuff they are. Maybe Moore, but I hope you know what you are in for if you promote either of them. wow.

  10. How come no translation services were available in my native Yiddish? What a crock of shit making translators available in any language.

  11. ” “more access to police records” “— In a city in which the true budget is presented to the public like a pea in a shell game, having the council champion access to records is laughable. ” is absolutely true

    Anyone who thinks San Jose has open city government that is honest with residents only has to look at yearly con game called San Jose city budget

    Until the public can ” follow the tax money in city budget ” and see who is getting our taxes – the Insiders, Lobbyists and self serving Politicians will continue to use city taxes to benefit themselves and their political special interest supporters

  12. > Anyone who thinks San Jose has open city government that is honest with residents only has to look at yearly con game called San Jose city budget

    Please elaborate.

    Now that you mention it, I don’t recall ever seeing any really “hard news” with honest-to-God-numbers regarding the city budget.  All that the Mercury ever seems to provide are sordid sob stories from victim lobby groups about evil tax-haters kicking rice bowls out of the hands of legless, blind beggers.

    I’m wondering what information is available to the public on the development of the city budget. 

    It seems to me that in the Capital of Silicon Valley, well into the Twenty-First Century, just about EVERYTHING should be available on the web and accessible.

      • Pierluigi:

        Thenk yew.

        Call me crazy, but I will make an attempt to wade through some of it.

        I hope there’s an “Executive Fact Sheet” for executives like me to get the big picture.

        Also, is there an online directory or PDF document of some sort that shows the city and county organization charts and the names and job titles of all city executives and managers?

        This would come in very hand for community meetings.  I hate it when city bigwigs quote some other city bigwig and I have no idea who the other bigwig is.

        • I took a quick look at the Budget Summary:

          Page 20:

          “Purchase Land for Environmental
          Innovation Center (EIC) Expansion
          ($2.3 million in 2010-2011)”

          I, personally, am willing to tough it out and live without an Environmental Innovation Center.


          $2.3 million saved.

          Tomorrow, I’ll hack away at all the “global warming”, diversity, and multiculturalism baloney that’s undoubtedly hidden away in the budget.

          I expect I’ll be able to get this sucker balanced in two, maybe three, hours.

        • Page 20:

          “Purchase Land for Environmental
          Innovation Center (EIC) Expansion
          ($2.3 million in 2010-2011)”

          I, personally, am willing to tough it out and live without an Environmental Innovation Center.


          $2.3 million saved.

          That $2.3 million funding is restricted by state law and cannot be spent on public safety or neighborhood services-FYI.

        • > That $2.3 million funding is restricted by state law and cannot be spent on public safety or neighborhood services-FYI.

          What do you mean by “restricted by state law”?

          Do you mean that the city wanted to spend MORE and the state wouldn’t allow it?

          I wasn’t proposing to spend it on public safety or neighborhood services.  I was proposing to spend it on ME.

        • That was funny.

          The Environmental Services Dept operates by collecting fees. Those fees are restricted by Prop 218 so using those funds for other services are restricted or in your example to write you a personal check would not be allowed.

      • Since I’m neither a bureaucrat or a psychic, perhaps Mr. Oliverio might direct me to the page detailing the number of retired civil service employees hired by this city as consultants (either directly or through the service employing them), as well as the amount paid them.

        • Let me see if I have this right. In the Capital of Silicon Valley, the city believes that a document by document text search is the best way to make its budget transparent to the community.

          Can you imagine if the internet operated that way? If, rather than digitizing and indexing content, users would be required to know the name and location of the document or site in order to go there and search it, one webpage at a time. In such a world neither Google or Yahoo would exist.

          Unless the city budget documents were hammered out on IBM Selectrics, every word on every page exists in digital form and is thus suitable for full-text indexing. Making them available via a search engine should have been done fifteen years ago. That it wasn’t, and hasn’t been, is no accident.

  13. City Budget documents are purposely set up so you can’t understand where taxes are coming from, going or who is getting city taxes

    Budget detail information is hidden in Council committee documents or not available to public not in budget documents only summaries

    There are no comparisons to other cities and few performance measurements and when city can’t meet performance standard that other cities use

    San Jose changes performance measurement to hide city’s poor service performance from public so they don’t have to explain where taxes are going or wasted on political insider giveaways

    There is many hidden spending reasons why you can’t understand city budget

    • > City Budget documents are purposely set up so you can’t understand where taxes are coming from, going or who is getting city taxes

      > Budget detail information is hidden in Council committee documents or not available to public not in budget documents only summaries

      OK.  Sounds to me like it’s time to get out the torches and pitchforks, whip up the mob, and do some flogging and pillaging in the villages of the incumbent ruling class.

  14. Are we paying Deb Figone to do her job? Apparently not. Looks instead like we are paying her 300k/yr to cover her ass.
    Rather than make an educated, informed choice herself- the exact job we hired her to do- she’s come up with a police chief recruitment process which is primarily designed to fob off her responsibility. It’s calculated to minimize her own political exposure and insulate her from potential criticism.
    The American Idol style selection process she’s come up with is guaranteed to narrow the list of candidates to a group of ambitious, self promoting, restless, disloyal, egotistical and greedy political animals. We won’t wind up with a good police chief- but nobody will be able to say it’s Deb Figone’s fault.

    Do your job, Figone. Ya big chicken.

    • Good point. Takes all of her own political liability and that of the Mayor and Council out of the line of fire.

    • You guys are a hilarious. If she went out an just hired someone, you dimwits would be all over the web complaining that she was a “imperial” city manager.

      I’ve never liked Figone, but the relentless and ill-informed commentary that pass for political discourse is much worse than she has ever been.

  15. ” Apparently not. Looks instead like we are paying her 300k/yr to cover her ass. “

    ” she’s come up with a police chief recruitment process which is primarily designed to fob off her responsibility. It’s calculated to minimize her own political exposure and insulate her from potential criticism. ”

    ” Takes all of her own political liability and that of the Mayor and Council out of the line of fire. ”

    by manipulating San Jose’s public outreach process, public comments and public task forces to get their desired ” done deal ” results and recommendations

    Make you feel that we all need lots soap and shower to wash off – political stink from everyone being jerked around at public meetings – with only ones being kissed are political insiders

  16. Dear City Manager and City Council,

    As you consider whom to promote or hire to the position of Police Chief, please find candidates with considerable experience with the patrol aspects of policing (Bill Lansdowne is an excellent example). Everyone pays lip service to patrol being the backbone of the Police Department. Now, let’s find someone who understands that at a fundamental level and has the moral fortitude and intellectual honesty to act on that understanding – regardless of what special interests want. Find someone who will DO THE RIGHT THING regardless of the special interests (and let’s face it, City Hall is as influenced by special interests as it is possible to be).

    Lastly, whatever you do, please do not promote the current chiefs of BFO or BOA. Despite their long service with SJPD, neither individual enjoys the trust or acceptance of most of the rank and file. In fact, I daresay, the promotion of both has had a measurable deleterious effect on the morale and smooth function of the department. Promoting them to the highest position within the department could do nothing good.

      • I agree that those Deputy Chiefs have done a horrible job and do not deserve the respect of their staff. They are causing more harm to the department than anyone in recent history. Take the recent antics of DC Cavallaro as an example. In his childish way of trying to get the locker rooms clean, he threw away dozens, if not hundreds of pairs of boots belonging to police officers. Many officers showed up to work only to find their boots missing without any prior notice. The Chief and the City have admitted that DC Cavallaro’s actions were unacceptable and the City is paying to replace those boots, which were not the property of the Deputy Chief. How many thousands is this costing? My question, Council Member Oliverio, is why is the City reimbursing the officers and not DC Cavallaro? He is the one who blatantly disregarded procedure. He should pay to replace the boots. I have heard that several officers even filed police reports for their stolen property. The “thief” should make retribution as would be required if the case were taken to court. The City should not be responsible for paying for his misdeeds.

        • Don’t forget that this boot debacle was followed immediately by a triple bid process for shift change causing major disruptions in everyone’s lives.  Just what the officers need, more demoralizing actions on top of everything else.

    • The special interests to which I am referring and with which, even as an Hispanic, I disagree more often than not are those groups with seem to seek the advancement of one particular group of people at the expense of the community as a whole or which advocate policy/procedure changes within law enforcement which are typically to the benefit of one particular “minority” group or another but which, generally, are neither safe, practical nor of benefit to the community as a whole. Examples of said special interest groups are La Raza Roundtable, Asian American Law Alliance, the NAACP and the ACLU. Personally, I don’t want different rules for different groups. I want a professional proactive AND aggressive Police Department. I want to have MY city be the safest big city in the US (we’re #7 now). And I am sick to death of the media and these groups acting as though the only answer to the problems of crime and mental illness in the city are those which involve no chance of anyone getting hurt except maybe a cop or a firefighter.

  17. With reference to the Police Chief Recruitment held at the Roosevelt Community Center on August 24, 2010. There was a SJ Police Officer in attendence.

    What would be of interest to post for the public to view is the total number of citizens that attended each of the five meetings to date.

    I believe 21-24 people attended the first. 14-17 the second and 10-11 the third. I do not know how mant attended the fourth and fifth meetings.

    If the numbers of attendees at meetings number four and five do not tally into the “hundreds of thousands” the “input” doesn’t say much of anything.

    These three (3) “community meetings for the Recruitment for the next Chief of the San Jose Police” to wit I was present; were for the most part, nothing more than forums for the malcontents who either hate or dislike SJPD, and special interest groups trying to curry favor. There were some excellant ideas to improve Police operations.

    The procedural aspects of the three (3) meetings I attended contained material flaws in the solitation of input.

    Constant “rephrasing” of input by the facilitator and the injection of “subject matter” that was not part and parcel of the original input was encoded into the public record.

    In conjunction with the aformentioned; low attendenance rates, constant “rephrasing with leading questions” materially flaws this process and the information so derived is thereby tainted.

    What is of grave concern is the intentional shielding from the recruitment process is all matters concerning the “Civilain Review Panel”.

    The secrecy around this “Civilian Review Panel” in all aspects of its creation, composition, and mission eviserates “Sunshine”.

    David S. Wall

  18. From ALF:
    San José‘s New Police Chief:
    Community Input and Involvement

    Monday, September 27
    5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    Roosevelt Community Center
    901 East Santa Clara Street, San José

    What has the City heard from community members about what is wanted in a new police chief?
    How, specifically, will the City incorporate this input into the selection of the new police chief?
    What happens next?
    These are some of the questions we will discuss on September 27.

    • Kathleen,
      This entire thing is pretty much a dog and pony show. The city manager is going to make some politically correct decision in picking a chief. Otherwise, why would the city, right on the city website, feature the input they solicited and received from the NAACP and the “Coalition for Justice and Accountability”? Most police officers have no faith in this process as being much more than a formality and expect the city council to rubber stamp whoever gets picked. At least morale can’t get much lower at the pd than it already is.

      • “At least morale can’t get much lower at the pd than it already is.”

        Au Contraire Tom, life is about to get far worse for the police officers.  Certain members of the City Council along with the mayor are still plotting more cutbacks for the PD, the upper command staff of the department is making mistake after mistake including the boot throwaway campaign, bidding three times for the next shift, and a promotional process that pays lip service to civil service rules but is really a smoke screen for affirmative action and the good ol’ boy network. 

        Now add on top of this an article today in the Murky News stating that Pierluigi wants to take another stab at making officers live within or very close to the city.  Let’s completely disregard the fact that housing costs are absurd in San Jose and the surrounding areas.  Let’s ignore the fact that tens of thousands of private sector employees commute from outlying areas to San Jose so that they can provide a better life for their families but police officers are supposed to give up that nice suburban home in a safe area and live in a one-bedroom condo just so they can get to work a few minutes sooner.  Never mind that fact that there is absolutely no evidence that this is now a problem.  In reality, during Loma Prieta officers responded in droves and staffing was never an issue.  The PD even shipped off dozens of officers to assist San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

        Isn’t it interesting that some council people and the usual collection of whining bloggers want to hold public service employees to the same standard as private sector employees but only when it results in pay or standard of living reductions for those city workers.  This latest folly is just another example of the ongoing attempt by the city management to apply private sector standards only where it benefits the bean counters, but not the employee.  Does anyone really expect the City of San Jose to start handing out bonuses when the economy rebounds?  Will city employees get massive stock options? How about weekly beer busts and parties?  What about convention junkets, take home vehicles, dividends, and endless expense accounts?  Will city employees get all the perks that private sector people enjoyed during the boom times?

        Not a chance and in fact, the city is gearing up to take away binding arbitration followed by a complete revamping of compensation and pensions.  I predict that over the next 3-4 years you will see so many cutbacks for city employees that good police officers will leave in droves for greener pastures.  San Jose will continue to slip farther and farther down the list of safe cities as the motivation for providing high quality policing diminishes and any potential hiree seeks a city that treats them with the respect they deserve.  San Jose will eventually be completely reactive with minimal staffing and a force that simply sits on their hands and waits until somebody calls them to go and write a report after the fact.