Pose Questions to Police Chief Chris Moore

This week, San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore has agreed to answer questions from San Jose Inside readers. He is the third public official to participate in this series. Questions are selected from online posts to this site.

Chief Moore’s answers will be posted in a Q&A format the next Thursday. If an answer seems incomplete or unsatisfactory, SJI will do its best to follow up.

To submit a question, post below.


  1. A few years ago, a little girl was killed by an illegal immigrant woman who was an unlicensed driver. A couple months ago, in mid-August, another illegal immigrant unlicensed driver killed a four-year-old boy in a hit-and-run collision. (http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_18721994?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150280488499476_17961737_10150281328774476#f1217d8d3e9716c)

    Unlicensed to Kill”, a study conducted by the AAA Foundation investigating fatal traffic collisions between 1993 and 1997 found the following:

    “Of the 278078 drivers involved in fatal crashes in the United States between 1993 and 1997, 3.7 percent were unlicensed, 7.4 percent were driving on an invalid (e.g., suspended, revoked, etc.) license and 2.7 percent wer of unknown license status.

    20 percent of all fatal crashes in the United States—one fatal crash in five—involves at least one driver who is unlicensed, driving on an invalid license, or of unknown license status.

    Between 1993 and 1997 some 42,049 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver who was unlicensed, driving on an invalid licens, or of unknown license status.”

    “Unlicensed to Kill: The Sequel” documented similar finding and further made the following recommendations as a means of combating driving without a valid license and associated deaths:

    “-Implement and enforce administrative license revocation and suspension laws
    -Establish vehicle impoundment, seizure, and immobilization
    -Implement plate removal at the scene
    -Implement special plates or stickers as an automatic probable casue for a traffic stop
    -Establish mandatory jail time for multiple offenders
    -Establish strictly circumscribed ignition interlock programs
    -Establish a separate law enabling license status checkpoints
    -Block registration of vehicles by drivers lacking a valid license.”

    My question is this: In light of these events, studies, findings, and recommendations, at what point will you rescind your order from earlier this year severely limiting the circumstances under which the officers under your command can impound cars driven by people who are unlicensed or improperly licensed? The rules governing licensing and impounds were placed on the books for a reason and studies show that they have at least a degree of success in curtailing traffic-related fatalities.

    • Chief,
      You walked into our briefing room and told us (your line officers) that you were changing the tow policy because it would “save the department money and time.” My question to you is: How? I work as a patrol officer for you and can directly tell you that there is no time difference for a patrol officer to impound a car for one day (22651p CVC) or thirty days (14602.6 CVC). So, How does it save time and money for the department? It requires the same amount of calculated labor for the patrol officer to call for a tow, fill out a CHP-180, and drop it in the report box upon returning to the station. The only difference is the authority code the officer writes on the CHP-180. So…How does it save time and money?

      Did you ever think of asking your officers how they would feel regarding such a drastic policy change? I highly suggest that you solicit your line-level officers’ input on certain policy decisions. I understand that public outreach is required for most CSJ policy changes and program implementations. Does that mean you totally disregard the other important stakeholder…your subordinates dealing with the problem everyday… your officers.

      I was highly supportive of you during your application for chief; however, you have shown to falter to special interests group and not verbally standup for your officers as they were pushed out the door last July 1st.

      • I agree, but you left one part out. You neglected to talk about the money it costs to tow a car.  I agree with you that the officer’s time and the record clerk’s time to process these tows would not change so how is it possible it would cost the city money?  The cost of the impound (other than the people needed to process the tow- officer, records, etc) will still be there. The only time the department pays for a tow is if it was towed without proper athority; meaning the person really had a valid license.  Short of this kind of blunder, the tow is free. The RO pays for the tow when they pick up their car or the tow company sells the car if the owner refused to pay the fees.
        So again, Chief, how does this save us money?  Or does it just save you headaches from loud groups of people who feel we target them

      • Good question!!!!! Chief, please explain how your new tow policy is benefiting our Department? Disclaimer: I’m a latino SJPD officer who is registered as an independent

  2. I wasn’t aware that Chief Figone had that much extra time in her day to dismantle our department AND write down answers for SJI to questions aimed at Moore.

    With that in mind, i will direct my question to the real Chief. Hey Deb, When are you going to retire and just go away?

    • with a huge PENSION that she wants to cut from the rest of the hard working city workers!  What is this her 4th pension she sucks from us and other cities.  Where will be her next blood letting?

    • So would the best strategy be to roll her CalPERS time into the city plan or pursue each seperately for two retirement checks.  If the latter, she’ll want to stay longer to get a better city pension. 

      Also, if you like what you do, retirment isn’t that huge of a goal, but if you really dislike what you do, retirement becomes this huge “promised land” which ironically some don’t live too long to enjoy because they live/work stressful lives for years which is hard on the body.

      I’m thinking 2016 or so.

  3. Chief, do you realize that you have crushed the morale of this department by not having the balls to stand up to Figone and telling her that your the chief and will do what you think is good for the department and not what she thinks! Every officer is so disappointed In you. Be a cop and not a politian!

    • This is what happens when you have an academic and policy wonk run the agency. He has no concept of how the nuts and bolts of police operations work, except of course from those books he read.

    • He can’t be a cop, he never worked in patrol Bugsy.  He went to school when he was supposed to be working patrol.  Check his profile out!

    • and we thought the last guy was bad.  When is the POA coming out on this chief?  The V.P. came out last time. (against chief). maybe he is to busy getting awards from the IPA

  4. Given the events in NY what would be the reaction of San Jose police towards protests in San Jose?  watch the videos and do you condone the actions of the command officers. We can clearly see before and after the use of force occurs is this something you train your command officers to do in San Jose?

      What is your opinion regarding peaceful protests.

  5. Up until a decade ago, Government operated in 3 separate but equal branches. Checks and balances were in place to ensure the Legislature, Judicial and Executive branches were working effectively and within proper scope.  With this civics lesson mind, I wonder why you (head of an Executive branch) would submit to pressure from activists that clearly should be lobbying the Legislative branch?  I expect, demand actually, that the police enforce laws without blinders nor with specific targets. If our laws direct the police to tow cars of unlicensed drivers (regardless of immigration status) then that’s what your Police Officers should do. That inconvenient fact that illegal immigrants cannot vote in order to affect the Legislature is simply too bad.

    When will you stand up for our laws and your employees? The activists will never be satisfied, the IPA never satiated, the criminals never accepting of their actions and punishment.  In such dire times, politically and economically your Department needs a leader- please cut the puppet strings and act as one.

  6. Chief,  do you still live in Alameda County and how many of your officers live outside of the city and thereby do not pay San Jose property taxes?

    • Most officers cannot afford it!

      having worked for 30 years in SJ it was because we could not AFFORD to live in SJ on our cheap salaries.

    • It is well over 50%.  There is a double edged sword though in your inquiry.  Reed contends cops are over paid.  The average cop wouldn’t even come close to owning a decent home in Santa Clara County unless their spouse worked and made good money.  So, if you want them to live in Santa Clara County, then the city would have to pay enough to allow it.

  7. You have stripped personnel from investigations to staff patrol, thereby creating a situation where very few reported crimes will get the necessary follow up investigation. Why didn’t you redistrict the patrol division and scale it back to 12 districts again. This would have eliminated the need for the Southern division command structure. If part of the reason is the inability to quickly and efficiently reprogram the CAD system, why was this system implemented and wasn’t this done on your watch in BTS?

  8. Why is the police department still handwriting reports or at minimum having to produce hard copies of each one? There has been a quest to implement a new RMS and VFR system since 1998 and not one has been implemented. You spent years working in BTS as a Captain and DC yet we have not seen a system implemented. Instead we keep getting specious updates about a system coming soon, yet it will no doubt be unworkable since it appears that every system this agency purchases and implements is unscalable and utilizes proprietary software that cannot be integrated into other systems. What are you doing to rectify this problem and will you hold people accountable if this system proves unworkable yet again?

  9. What are you doing differently from Rob Davis to make sure officers understand how to work with SJ’s diverse population and know how to work with
    mentally ill residents?

    • They hire a variety of officers from different cultures within the community; and then give them extra training to deal with mental health issues.  Then they let these officers get hired away to other cities, losing 175k MINIMUM – that’s what it costs to train a brand new recruit…officers with 20 years experience often have up to 500K in training – no kiding…that you then give to Santa Clara – a city run well with its’ own electric conglomerate….not a wasteful airport, city hall, and convention center..none of which make money…some of which lose BILLIONS

  10. It is unfortunate that Chris has limited real law enforcement exposure due to his long tenure in special units not in the PD and ventures to major universities and the FBI Administrators Academy to master all of his “book knowledge” of what police work is… other than working in a patrol car. 

    I want to know why Deb and the Mayor picked you over other “more qualified” Police Administrators? 

    I want to know why you never say “No” to Deb Figone or the Mayor when they have stupid Idea’s, like laying off more officers.  and you go to the flip charts and use percentages to skew the numbers any direction you want to please Deb.

    I want to know why your Motorcycle police officers break the law while trying to catch speeders…

    They park their motorcycles on the sidewalks blocking pedestrians, while shooting radar, the officers are actually “breaking the law to enforce the law” sort of contradictory, Hmmmm? 

    There are no exclusions for police vehicles in the Vehicle Code for blocking or parking on the sidewalks, other than in exigent circumstances aka – an emergency, which speed enforcement is not…. 

    Please answer these questions Chris.

    • You posted some valid points and then destroy your credibility by focusing on some dumb issue like where motorcycle officers position their vehicles while conducting traffic enforcement. That’s just lame.

      • As to who all these other “more qualified police administrators” are.  You may disagree with Chief Moore’s policies and leadership, but you can’t argue his credentials.  If you take a look at the resumes of most major city Chiefs of Police, you will see that not only are his credentials outstanding, but that most of the other chiefs have similar training. 

        Most chiefs end up going to Washington and taking various classes from federal agencies.  Most chiefs seek to obtain higher degrees from a university. Most chiefs of police would give their right arm to have the education that Chris Moore has and the outside experience.  A chief of police has to see the big picture, not just know how to slap cuffs on some punk.  Your argument would be more credible if you took on his decisions one by one and made a case against his choices.  His resume is actually one of his positives.  Working a beat car makes you a good beat cop, but not necessarily a good administrator and politician, which is exactly what every chief is.

        • The point is you first have to have a base to really know what law enforcement is all about.  From the beat officer to the chief.  Chris spent more time from 1982 to current times in special units or working under some administrator learning the ropes of not being a COP, but being some lacky for the administrators.  He spent a lot of time in school PRIOR to gaining any rank at all.  Being a good beat cop first is a great foundation to start a long law enforcement career.  You make it sound as if the beat officers are idiots… and have no chance of being an administrator.  The only big picture Chris see’s is Figone’s and Reed’s on his office desk in his little world.  I don’t know if you know this but 800 more city employees are again on the chopping block for layoff’s, along with more SJPD beat officers.  This guy is a puppet

        • But not necessarily a prerequisite for being a great chief.  There have been plenty of administrators that actually were not all that great of officers.  While there are some who were ass kicking beat cops, many start working on promotion early on which requires a lot of other experiences other than working patrol.

          Part of the problem that I see with officers and sergeants bad mouthing command staff is that they have never functioned in their environment.  So, in one sense I agree with you that having been a good street cop is a good thing to have.  However, you seem unwilling to admit that something good for a beat cop would be to understand all the BS that an administrator has to deal with at the rank of Lt. and above.  What is good for one would be good for another.

          How many beat cops have to manage a budget for an entire unit or a bureau?  How many beat cops get stuck attending numerous meetings with the City Attorney, DA, countless other city agencies, far too many attorneys, every whining citizen group with their own agenda, other agency command staff, other professional police groups, etc.?  How many beat cops get stuck doing I.A. investigations, writing evals, formulating policies, cutting staff, researching procedures, etc.? The gap between what a police manager does and what a street cop does is worlds apart. 

          So, I do agree that a command staff member should never forget where they came from and the better beat cop they were, the more likely they won’t abandon those good traits. But I also believe that a good administrator has to obtain many more talents other than working patrol to be successful as a manager.  In theory and reality every rank brings a little bit bigger slice of the big picture.  The view from the bottom is a lot different than the view from the top.

          So, Chris Moore’s resume should be applauded.  His training should be envied by other police administrators.  And, at least in theory, it should translate to being an excellent leader.  But, there are more intangibles that are not captured on paper that make a great chief and maybe this is where Chris Moore needs to concentrate.  Instead of decrying his resume, I believe it is more important to point out the specific disappointments and perceived failures that the rank and file are unhappy with.  Some have done so in this post and I would like to see the chief’s answers. 

          Specificity goes a lot farther than just bad mouthing somebodies job choices.  Not every SJPD member gets the chance to pick and choose all the units and assignments that they want to work.  The proof is in the pudding so I recommend that people ask very pointed questions about actual decisions, policies and the road map for the future instead of being sidetracked with personal attacks.  If you don’t think the chief has a spine, articulate exactly why by asking for an explanation of his actions.  If you think the chief is caving in to Figone and Reed, point out examples as others here have done and ask for the reasons why some decisions were made.  In the end, he may not be able to answer but at least ask.

          Remember though, Moore has a boss just like every rank in the SJPD.  When a citizen starts whining about an officer to their supervisor, would you expect that sergeant to reveal personal discussions or their personal opinion of the officer to that citizen?  Also remember, there is actual policy that states city/pd employees are not to make disparaging remarks publicly about their superiors, fellow employees, and subordinates.  If you think the chief is going to publicly decry his direct superior, think again.  If you are an FTO, I would hope that you would not want a recruit badmouthing you publicly.  If you are a sergeant, I would hope that you would not want your officers making public comments about your skills.  If you are a Lt. or above I am sure you would not want Sgts. and officers proclaiming their displeasure at your decisions.  If you want to be the recipient of the “praise in public, criticize in private” philosophy, you can’t expect your chief to abandon that same mantra.

          This doesn’t mean you can’t point out deficiencies in policies or politics though through the POA if it relates to working conditions.  There is plenty of ammunition there that is legit.  Just my two cents from someone who isn’t a command staff member and who never will be.

        • The best officers in the military are usually Mustangs.  They start from the bottom.  Will spend several years looking from the bottom up.  When the chance comes they apply and become 2nd Lt’s.  Having lived the life, they understand the needs of the basic soldier. (They are usually slow in promotion as they are not “ring Knockers”) Almost the entire ranking commanders have little or NO street experience. The ones that do, are looked upon as the gods of common sense.  BOOT GATE STILL LIVES ON!

        • Did you write this on your 2 hour lunch?  Did you notify the chief of your response on this site.  I do believe they will be making promotions soon.  Add your comment to your resume.
              Sure have a lot of information about being command staff to deny it.  Thats how our command staff works.  DENY!

        • Here is an idea for you.  Why not address those facts that you disagree with?  Instead, you try and make it personal.  I suppose you like it then when a defense attorney starts to attack you as an individual instead of focusing on the actual legal aspects of the case right?  I don’t even work for your department so you are grasping at straws.  I am just telling you what it looks like on the other side of the coin having worked closely with police management.  But, you can keep those blinders on and stamp your feet all day long, it isn’t going to help but it probably feels good anyway.

        • I guess all the cops should just be good soldiers and keep their mouths shut while their Chief aids and abets the destruction of their department? I’d suggest you walk a mile in their shoes before you get too high and mighty…it’s hard to imagine what it’s like working over there right now.

        • Walked 30 years in those shoes, don’t need to be there right now and glad I am not.  But, I still keep in touch with members of all ranks and I do know what it is like working “over there” right now.  I see all this pissing and moaning about the chief the way I see those people protesting at the stock market are behaving.  People are unhappy and want a target.  The chief is the head of the PD and the buck stops at his desk for PD related issues.  The city manager is the chief’s boss but the rank and file finds it easier to blame the chief and ignore that he answers to somebody just like everybody else in a structured rank environment.  I would bet a paycheck that it wouldn’t matter who was at the helm of the SJPD right now, you would still be screwed.

        • Many officers and sergeants did 30 years back when it was worthwhile to work 30 years.  You must be a youngster if you don’t remember that.  It hasn’t been up until the last 3-4 years that people have been bailing out right after they are eligible.  Your youth and inexperience is showing…

      • Dave, this Hal 1000 Dave, yes they are very valid points, along with what laws officers break to make a quota for their motor unit.  Lets look at this logically.  If a handicapped pedestrian was using the sidewalk which the motorcycles are parked on how do you suggest the handicapped pedestrian get around the illegally parked motorcycles?  Should that person now walk/wheel chair out into traffic?
        Not a good place to park, hence that motorcycle should have never been there in the first place.

  11. Chief Davis said the city of San Jose needs about 1,700 officers to stay on par with the national average. Today there are fewer than 1,100 officers. Many others are on the verge of leaving through either retirement or finding jobs in private industry or other departments. This exodus will continue. It seems possible that this number could easily get down to 800-900 officers relatively quickly. How do you anticipate the department will function at that level? Also, it seems inevitable that the department will be forced to drastically lower its hiring standards, when or if it ever hires again. Do you see this as a possiblitiy? Thanks for agreeing to answer tough questions in this column.

      • Scary but apparently true. So my neighbor tells me the City (mis)Manager went out on the town for part of a night with a cop. The City Manager told them she only cares about how long it takes cops to get to emergency calls (neighbor called them priority ones?) but that detective work and anything else, including how fast they get to other 911 & 311 calls isn’t important to Ms Figone.
        I’m schocked to hear this. If somebody is trying to steal my car and I call 911, it’s not only going to take forever for a cop to come but when they do, nobody is gonna look for my car anyway! How can my family and home be up for grabs to the criminal element yet this mayor still talks about a baseball team. Have we all lost our minds? How can they not afford public safety but talk about a stadium? Santa Clara is looking at almost $1 billion for a stadium, not including the land. Why don’t we rent the parcels we already own, take that $500 Million we have in cash and use it to right the deficit and worry about the Game of baseball in two or three years when it’s feasible?

        • Another shocking story (but true) for you…couple of months ago, fire responded to a deceased person. Once on scene, we can not leave until relieved by SJPD (for the investigation/documentation). Your local fire station was on scene, unable to leave the person’s home, for over THREE hours, due to no PD units available. The citizen’s better hope they don’t have a medical emergency or fire, because there may not be anyone close by to respond. Not only that, we are browning out our fire stations-we have been instructed to NOT save your home-only protect the exposed structures. Your wise council/mayor/city manager feels that that is what insurance is for. What a shame-I guess your memories aren’t worth much. We are dealing with a whole new (and not better)way of doing business.

  12. If the city council decides to layoff more officers in the upcoming fiscal year, how will Chief Moore respond?  Will Chief Moore be willing to make a line in the sand for a minimum staffing level?  If so, how many officers does Chief Moore need to effectively protect San Jose residents?

    • Chief Figone will make that decision and it will not be pretty.  She and Chuckie are looking for union blood.  The public safety officers could work for free and it would not be enough. 

      Say it is pensions but the city is to blame.

      Lets build a ball park and bankruptcy the city!  Go AT&T do not sell.

  13. Chief,

    I wish you the best! 

    All heck is going on, but I want to know?

    How low will the city manager / mayor allow your staffing levels to go.  This is not about pension reform, this is about union busting.

    Will the substation ever be opened or sold, are the council waiting to drop the officer levels so low that they will just move the department to south SJ.  Then sell the old PD property to the county or Feds for a new court house?

    Do you have any say on which special units get cut, or is the city managers decision? 

    The city with all the cuts are demoting great officers in rank in addition to laying off great young talent.  Those promoted then demoted are facing a 25% pay cut or more.  How do you resound to them and their families after they have worked so hard to move up the ranks just like you did?

    Are crimes still actively being investigated when the BOI is so understaffed.

    The unions are giving up so much, do you think the city will accept concessions or push the current and future employees into either leaving the city or not coming here?

    Pound to have worked here and with you officer to officer.

  14. I have heard that “The Camera adds 15 lbs to the average person” so my question is…….How Many Cameras are pointed at your head?? On a serious note , you have allowed( and even assisted ) the systmatic dismanteling of your Dept.,Morale is at an all time low,the troops are seriously disgusted/disappointed in your lack of leadership.How much worse do things have to get before you will stand up and act on behalf of the troops??

  15. Chief Moore,
    Thank you for your efforts to improve trust between the community and law enforcement, and for your efforts to address proper community policing policies.

    My question to you is:
    How can we everyday citizens assist our Police Department through community policing?  Also, please give us an idea of what NOT to do when we see a crime in progress.

    Thank you.

  16. We have a 92K police substation that will sit empty for years.  Are you going to open it, sell it or wait for the officer level to get so low you might as let occupy it?

    Why don’t we not consolidate communications with the county or other agencies and save money.

    Are you working with the POA or does the city manager dictate all your decisions.

    Are we ever in the near future going to hire more officers, how low will the level of officers go?

  17. Why is the new San Pedro Square Market able to operate without the proper liquor license?  they have a liquor license type 47; which means they have to have a full food menu and their own kitchen.  Also, beer wine and liquor can legally only amount to 50% of thier sales.  Currently thier sales are 100% beer wine and liquor.

    They don’t have thier own kitchen; they are using kitchen’s that are not owned by them.  This is not legal in regards to a type 47 liquor license.  They should be operating with a type 48 which would mean minors are not allowed in the building.

    I’m in the bar business downtown; and I’m not clear on why they are allowed to operate illegally.  Is it because they are owned by a former mayor?  Everyone else with a liquor license is held to very high standards; but a polically connected ex mayor gets to walk all over the law?  On your watch?

    I would like a clear and honest answer to this.

    Downtown Bar owner

    • Dear Night Lifer , that was a great question! But the quick and easy(and obvious) answer is …………….because your last name is NOT McEnery!!!!Or because the Mayor is only willing to bend/break rules when it is convenient or benefits him personaly or maybe because you are not bet buds with Swenson or Sobrato . Thats as Honest an answer that your gong to get!

  18. What percentage of police officers live more than 50 miles from San Jose ?

    San Jose has reduced it’s police officers to a level that barely covers the city during normal times and

    In the event of an major disaster or emergency that affects thousands of residents how many of the reduced Police Department officers living beyond 50 miles with roads blocked / airports closed etc will be able to respond for duty within 4 hours to an major emergency like a earthquake, explosion, chemical / toxic spill etc ?

    What are the city’s emergency plans, if any, to supplement city police force now that we have significantly reduced police force if other police department / mutual aid are also engaged in disaster or emergency work in their cities and are unable to assist San Jose ?

    • D6 Neighbor, you have – however obliquely – addressed an issue that many officers were raising when Measures V and W were on the ballot and, later, during our negotiations with the city. I think many of the membership in the POA who voted in favor of the contract did so because it was presented as something without any good alternatives – because voting against would cause us to lose more officers than the 66 who were laid off as well as being demonized in the public eye even more than we have been already.

      We all understood that it would put SJPD in a position of no longer being competitive with other agencies in terms of both pay and benefits. Many saw the concessions as a means of buying time for the most people and recognized that many would, inevitably, start looking for employment elsewhere. This has, indeed, already been going on and we have been hemorrhaging officers at an unprecedented rate. Making matters worse, we haven’t had an academy in a couple of years and there is no plan in place to hire new officers to account for attrition. Furthermore, we are going to have a very hard time hiring the same caliber of new recruits – or any recruits at all – given the high degree of publicity that has surrounded the layoffs and deteriorating work conditions.

      Really, the only possible answers are for the City to a. hire a a lot more officers and try to force them to live in the city limits or to try to force current officers to live in the city. Really, neither answer is practical. The former would be yet another impediment to hiring, and, in the case of the latter, existing officers would likely retort, “OK, so pay me enough to purchase a home in San Jose comparable to what I own in my current town.” In the vast majority of cases, this would mean paying them enough that they could pay a mortgage that is anywhere from 50% to 100% more than that which they pay in the town/city in which they currently live. I really don’t see the city jumping at either possibility.

    • We came back in 1989 and provided mutual aid to Santa Cruz and Los Gatos.  Don’t expect that to happen again.  Next time I am staying home to protect my family.  Majority of us who came back to work sat on our hands for the first 12 hours before being sent home and told to come back in the morning for redeployment.

      I suggest you be prepared to protect our own family because help will not becoming anytime soon.

    • A simple look at Katrina or any other major disaster provides the answers.  It is rare for officers to live in the city that they work in unless you are in a very rural area or perhaps Hawaii.  Any big city with big city crime will have very few officers readily available when it hits the fan.

      This is for two reasons.  First, officers don’t like standing in line at the store or elsewhere with people they’ve arrested.  They don’t like their kids going to school with kids of parents they’ve arrested and they don’t like eating in restaurants where people work they’ve arrested.  Few people in any profession want to deal with work issues when they go home for the day, let alone somebody who might be violent or crazy.

      Second, despite Reed and Figone’s claims of excessive pay, police officers cannot afford to buy a home in San Jose. Even with double income few are able to provide a nice home for their families.  Much like all the other thousands of private sector people who choose to move to Tracy, Manteca, Lodi, Hollister, etc. to provide a nice environment for their children, cops have even more motive to shelter their families from their jobs and give them a better lifestyle at the sacrifice of a long tedious commute. 

      Bottom line, when a major disaster strikes, you are pretty much on your own.  This isn’t unique to San Jose, it holds true across the U.S.  Triple staffing and pay and you will still see your public safety people choosing to live elsewhere.

    • Exactly one of the points the professionals at the PD were warning of when these cuts started, but dismissed by the intellctually arrogant Figone and her deputies with Mayor Reed at the puppet strings. Then throw in the City Auditor who miraculously produces audits in record time that always support the Mayor’s agenda. If the s**t hits the fan I’d love to see these clowns (including Moore) in front of a grand jury or congressional committee…they’ll roll on each other in a heart beat!

  19. Knowing that there will be no follow up questions and the chief will be allowed to “spin” his answers without moderator oversight lets start with an overview of the Chief’s tenure.

    Politically Directed Decisions:

    1)  You ordered officers not to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers. Unlicensed drivers are 99% of the time also uninsured and they makeup higher percentage of drivers involved in traffic accidents than their percentage of actual drivers’ should represent. The reason the law authorizes the impounding of unlicensed drivers’ vehicles is that impounding of the vehicle is best way of insuring that the crime (and it is a crime to drive without a DL) is not repeated. Additionally, the threat of “vehicle impound” stopped many licensed vehicle owners from allowing unlicensed drivers to barrow/drive their vehicle. 
    2)  You ordered ICE agents to go home. You stated the reason was because the ICE agents did their job and stopped gang homicides “completely” (no gang related homicides since June, the same time the ICE partnership began). How many “gangbangers” did ICE deport to achieve this milestone? Zero?

    The Dismantling of SJPD:

    Two years ago SJPD had approx. 1400 officers. Today it is down to less than 1100 officers. You publicly stated that you could police the city with 1100 officers. Do you really believe a city of close to 1,000,000 residents could be safely policed with 1100 officers? How is it working out?

    Were you following the direction/orders of your boss – the city manager? You are old enough to remember the BS the generals of the Vietnam War mouthed at the direction of Secretary of Defense McNamara. How has history treated them?

    Physical changes at the once proud SJPD:

    •  The VCET unit was disbanded (the unit responsible for uniformed street gang enforcement).
    •  The MERGE unit (SWAT) was cut from 20 officers to 12.
    •  The METRO Unit is now doing exclusively gang enforcement. Who is doing their old job of policing the downtown area? Nobody… maybe that’s why prostitution and open drug dealing are making a comeback.
    •  Patrol teams are going out with 1-3 less officers per team. Calls for service have increased resulting in officers going from call to call. Officers have all but stopped investigating cases and are now just “report takers”.
    •  The Detective Division (BOI) has been cut so deeply that good cases (solvable with further investigation) are being closed because of insignificant manpower. An example: solvable theft cases with less than $20,000.00 in loss are not investigated (unless a senor is involved)


    Your officers’ moral is the worst it’s ever been. Good, hard working officers are changing from hard working, proactive officers who couldn’t wait for the start of their next shift to “report takers” who can’t wait for the end of their shift. Officers at the bottom of the seniority ladder are in constant fear that they will be laid-off and are actively looking for employment elsewhere – you are loosing an avg. of one officer a week to other PD’s. Several of the recently laid-off officers have been rehired… but they “are here today and gone tomorrow”. Instead of waiting to be laid-off again they have found jobs elsewhere and resigned.  SJPD has gone from “the place to go to”…to “the place to leave from”.

    Chief, over time, the combination of poor leadership, mass exodus of personnel and drastic physical changes has altered the culture of SJPD.  Your removal of the ICE agents is representative of this cultural change – from a proactive, let’s get it done police department, to a re-active, let’s not offend anybody – PC correct department. 

    Ok, here is my question. I think it represents your comment to SJPD. A couple of weeks ago, on at least to different occasions, you told officers that if the sick time buyout was lost/taken away you were going to retire because you could not afford the loss of $200,000.00+ dollars (the value of your sick time). In light of the POA’s recent pension proposal to the city – it does away with the sick time buyout, are you going to retire if the city accepts the POA’s proposal?

    • No, because the chief is not covered under the POA, he works for the city manager and will get his money – lots of it!  Then get another COP job some where else.

    • Great question.  Is he going to leave if he loses his sick time buyout?  Hasn’t even been a year yet.

  20. Can you tell me how many supervisor / command staff positions will be / or have been demoted a step in rank and pay as a result of officers being laid off?

    How many detective positions have been cut as a result of officers being sent back to patrol in order to meet minimum staffing levels.

    What units have cut altogether due to layoffs.

  21. Many voters and residents do not understand the working relationship between Police Chief and your boss, the City Manager

    Please explain how much or little the City Manager affects Police Department policy, budget, police procedures, salary / benefits or administrative issue

    Prior Police Chiefs as senior police professional were by tradition and practice encouraged and expected to give their professional opinion on all police policy, staffing levels and administrative matters to Council and at public meetings as San Jose’s Police Chief even if not in agreement or different from elected officials or City Manager opinions.

    We have heard that now all Police public statements, policing policies, budget and even SJI Questions to Police Chief Answers have to be reviewed and approved by City Managers office before you can make statement or release information to Council, SJI and public.

  22. I was so happy to see Chief Davis leave the department.  He had to be, by far the worst Chief I have seen at the San Jose Police Department is all my years.  One of his most asinine moves he ever made was taking a Sgt. from the ranks and making he/she his personal driver/assistant.  130k plus- driver/assistant. Landsdown, Wheatley, and the Chief’s before did not have one.  I was hoping that when Davis left, the new Chief would obviously see the errors in his predecessors ways and remove that position.  But to no evail.  Not only did you keep that position, it is now filled by a demoted Sgt. who is now the rank of OFFICER.  Instead of placing that OFFICER back in patrol—-where we are short handed in case you didn’t know——you kept that OFFICER as your personal driver/assistant. So my question is….

    How does that help improve moral when street officer’s are going our short handed, they don’t have any T/O available, they are getting hammered by the Mayor and City Manger everyday…but yet you can keep an OFFICER as your personal driver/assistant. 

    Granted it is just one OFFICER, but what kind of message is that sending to YOUR TROOPS?  You were the 1st Chief I ever saw come to a briefing and tell us we should take a pay cut because you did.  Well, sacrifices are being made all over the department. People are losing their jobs, their homes and families.  Why aren’t you making this sacrifice?

    • Actually most major city chiefs also have adjutants. Some like LAPD have a security team. Now let’s be honest, we both know having ONE extra person on the street might matter in little towns like Morgan Hill but in SJ…you’re just venting.

  23. Thank you for taking the time to answer community questions and concerns. I am a long time resident of the Washington Elementary school neighborhood near Alma Ave. In all my years here, I know what kind of criminal acts occur here. I have seen the gang, drug, prostitution (pick your crime) activity occur in front of my living room window. I support my neighborhood and am active in calling police when I see a crime happening.

    It was said that with the layoffs of those young officers, and the restructuring of the police department, certain crimes would not get dispatched, but nothing would change as far as in progress crimes or more serious crimes. Well, I have found this to be far from fact. I have seen response times become unacceptable. In the past month I have called police several times on Fri and Sat nights. I have called on several gang fights, a burglar breaking into my neighbors car, and more recently a man actively punching and dragging by the hair, what appeared to be his wife or girlfriend. I understand that fri and sat nights by default must be busier than other days of the week, but the police took from 15 minutes at the earliest, to about 2 hours for what I believed was a domestic beating.  In short- this is unacceptable, dangerous and quite frankly, inhumane.

    I hope the mayor and council read my post. I’m sure other areas of the city dont experience the crime of the Alma area, but I want to show you the reality for tax paying san jose residents that live in certain neighborhoods.  I love my neighborhood and refuse to leave.

    How many cops is enough? How many more will be laid off? What is the bottom number? I can tell you right now, as someone who has watching over my community for several years, that whatever number of cops that is on the street right now, is not enough.

    • Welcome to SJPD 2012.  If you think its bad now, it can only get worse.  The City is destroying the police department, good experienced officers are leaving, and crime is on the rise.  Buy a gun and protect yourself because the response times and level of service is only going to get worse

  24. Chief Moore,

    Are you selecting and writing answers to public questions or is City Managers and her public relations press person selecting easy questions and writing politically correct answers ?

  25. Hope is on life support at SJPD and this Chief has become a joke punchline. Was it foreseeable? Yes it was foreseeable. He is a puppet pretending to be a police chief. He is at best, a nice guy with weak honorable intentions, at worst,…well, we are witnessing it.

    My question for this chief? I have none really. Perhaps only to know when he might consider leaving so we can move on to the next disappointment of leadership.

    • I feel your pain, I was proud to have served 29+ years, timing was right to retire when I did.

      Started out at 10.90 dollars an hour to be shot at.  What a job!  Miss the foot chases and doing real police work.  Now officers are disrespected, accused by Administration of false BS to make the IPO and City Manager happy.  AND they want you to take massive pay and benefit cuts.

      I used to look forward to getting up early and follow up on my cases (without asking for OT) and make my own arrests.  If I were you, I would just waste gas driving around in my patrol car, take a report and go home safe to your family which is the most important factor at the end of the day.  I hope you keep your head high.  You should be proud!

      You are one of the best!  Go on to another department who will still do real police work and citizens appreciate what you do day in and day out.  Be able to be a proactive police officer again.

      Take your money and run to any other agency that will appreciate you skills.  You deserve better!  Citizens of San Jose, we are losing so many great young and seasoned officers.

      San Jose is losing so many great young and seasoned officers,

      Thank You City Council.

    • Officer X, you continue to complain, offer no real solutions and criticize without any real facts.  If you haven’t noticed accross the State, most public Safety agencies are on life support.  You should be the one to leave, not the Chief.  Take your negative attitude and go away.

      • Chief and/or relative of:

        Pls accept my apologies for stating the obvious. YOU took the job, not me, so face facts.

        BTW, should all those negatively effected by your poor leadership leave or would actually like to see more than brass promotees patroling the streets?


        • Your right!  The command clown above you is on a promotion list.  I could see it know as the person walked in on his knees “Look chief I believe in you.”  They are a clown crew in themselves.  Keep up with the comments.  Truth is we could operate the P.D. at half the command staff level.  Send the rest to the circus

  26. Chief Moore, can you give the experienced officers who are choosing to lateral to other agencies one good reason to stay with the San Jose Police Department?  Between the pay cuts and increased contributions to benefits and retirement, constant public bashing and demoralization by City Hall and media, and micromanagement and mismanagement in the department, I’m hard pressed to find anything to keep good, hard working officers here.

  27. There is an anti-government movement that is beginning to surface in the bay area. That goes out of its way to terrorize all levels of the law enforcement community frop the police through DA’s and judges by exploiting misunderstandings of the law. They are taking advantage of folks who have fallen on hard times due to the current national and global economic crisis by ganing title to distressed propertys adn mortgages through all kinds of fraud adn deception.

    One of the fundamental beliefs of these homegrown terrorists is that they do not need to license their vehicles nor do they need a driver’s license themselves based on far-fetched interpretations of the US Consitution and law.

    I beleive that SJPD’s new method of dealing with unlicensed/undocumented foreign nationals only serves to embolden and stregnthen the position of this crazy fringe group and threatens our offcier’s SAFETY when they have to try and reason with these whackos!

    A wise person once said, “take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.” 

    SJPD needs to enforce the vehicle code with a vengence! Zero Tolerance for unlicensed/uninsured drivers. DA Jeff Rosen needs to get on board and prosecute the violations as they were intended – AS MISDEMEANORS – not Infractions with a slap on the wrist.

    The message sent will be that “little things” will not go unnoticed/unaddressed –  the result will be that BIG things like drug smuggling, human trafficing,  illegal immigration are not welcome – little state laws might just make for a climate where federal immnigration law violations are rare because the mass numbers of violators simply go home!

    It will also send a clear message to the sovereign movment that their particular brand of crap won’t fly here either!

  28. Are the criteria used to determine if a crime will be investigated materially different today compared to five or ten years ago?  This question is prompted by Scott Herhold’s Mercury News column last week (“A Theft Goes Uninvestigated”), and by awareness of thefts in my neighborhood that the PD did not respond to. The question though is not only about theft, but all crimes.

  29. Chief:

    Can you tell me how many times (say in the last year) that only priority 1 calls were being responded to?  That is to say due to staff levels being so low that officers were not being dispatched to priority 2, 3, or 4 calls.

  30. I’m rushing to get my questioned asked before the deadline.  I hope you will consider my questions:


    I would like to know the response time for priority 1, 2, 3 and 4 calls (current, 3 years ago and 5 years ago so as to compare).  Also, is this information provided to the public if requested?

  31. Chief:

    Can you tell me what unit actively investigates street level narcotics?  And not on a case by case basis. Actively. Primary focus.  I was told there is no unit in the San Jose Police Department that does street level narcotics.

  32. Although I don’t recall all the details, I do recall that changes in card club rules many years ago resulted in a big reduction in taxes or fees paid to the city. Could these rule changes be revisited and any increased revenue be dedicated to public safety?

  33. Don’t know if its too late but had a couple of questions.

    Q1 – Recuiting new officers (admittedly not a problem right this minute) – with the lowered standards of the last couple of chiefs from requiring a Bachelors degree to having a year of community college and no felonies, are we still likely to be able to recruit quality recruits for the department in the future?  In terms of recruitment and retention, are there things we can do outside of the pay/pension realm like creating a police ROTC program with some scholarships and incentives for interested locals to advance to an officer position when recruitment begins again?  Also, could we do more to retain officers over the course of a career in the new South Bay Public Safety Labor market?

    Q2 – Structurally, could the department benefit from some more junior supervisory/line positions like adding a Corporal rank?

    Q3 – What can we do better with technology or other resources to improve policing so that we combat the image of an increasingly lawless city where minor crimes are beneath the notice of local law enforcement (stuff like bike theft, car break ins, home burglaries) where it feels like LE is going through the motions of taking a report or letting us self-file on with no effort behind it to actually pursue the criminals or recover the property.

    Q4 – If SJ had an elected police chief like Santa Clara and some other towns, do you think it would help or hurt?  Would you run?

    Q5 – What do you think we’re doing better than other local departments?  What are they doing better than us?  Where can we partner or cooperate for better results in our interconnected communities?

    • 1. San Jose has never required a Bachelors Degree to be hired.  San Jose has always required two years of college credits minimum to apply. There was a very short period of time many years ago that they allowed an officer to be hired absent 60 semester units provided they achieved them shortly thereafter. A degree is encouraged but not required for hiring.

      However, your question is valid from the perspective of the quality of applicants.  Certainly when pay, benefits, working conditions and opportunities are at the bottom of the barrel compared to other agencies, San Jose will get the worst possible candidates who can’t get hired at better agencies.

      We already have a program for training and recruiting police officers.  It is called the Police Cadet program.  There have been many good officers to come out of this program but as for scholarships, who will pay for them?  If there is any extra money, let’s hire actual officers and not waste it on a maybe officer in the future. As for retaining officers, clearly this is not a priority.  What retains officers is good pay, good benefits, good working conditions, a good agency reputation, promotional and lateral movement opportunities, community support, and government support.  All of this things are long gone for the SJPD.  Get them back and retaining officers will not be a problem as it wasn’t a couple of years ago.

      2.  The Corporal position has been discussed ad nauseum for years.  There are a couple of problems inherent in it such as pay scale, defining supervision versus seniority etc.  Would you advocate paying a Corporal more?  If so, you add a whole new testing structure to an already understaffed department.  And, what is the benefit versus cost?  Is it just a morale thing?  If so, adding a new rank isn’t going to fix the plummeting morale that SJPD now enjoys.  The Corporal idea is just putting a Sponge Bob band-aid on an arterial wound.

      3. San Jose has tried to use technology for years but while unpublicized for the most part, they have failed miserably at it. Remember the Cisco debacle?  Also, if you take some time to read up on the effect of technology versus staffing, you will find that most studies have said that deploying technology as a “force multiplier” is a great catch phrase and looks good on a grant application but in reality is a myth.  Where you save in one area you have to increase in another area to support that technology.  Most private industry folks get this. Technology increases efficiencies for some while adding more work for others.

      4. I like the elected official thing on one hand. It would make the chief more accountable to the people and less inclined to kiss the city manager’s keister.  On the other hand, the voting public isn’t known for making the best decisions all the time and we could end up with an idiot for a chief too. 

      5. We are excelling at driving down morale, forcing officers to resign and seek jobs elsewhere, encouraging officers to park under a tree and wait for calls (oh wait, now they just go call to call with no parking time due to low staffing), discouraging pro-active police work, keeping officers from remaining motivated due to lack of promotional opportunities and lateral movement, and certainly we are providing well trained expensive resources to other cities as good people flee to better agencies.

      All good questions Blair and I’d like to see how the chief answers them as well compared to mine.

      • So on the technology side, let’s take bicycles.  Thefts are common, recovery rare.  They have this bicucle license system where each jurisdiction writes down the frame number and puts a sticker on the bike with a “license #” which I’m sure thieves peel off first before selling on craiglist or at the flea market.  It appears that the seperate lists are not shared.

        So why not take a digital picture and record the frame number so that both get uploaded to a statewide database (attorney general maybe) and then flag stolen bikes on this database and post that portion of the database publicly so consumers and beat officers can quickly determine if a bike is stolen.  It might help law enforcement, and it would also empower people to feel like more is being done for policing theft (letting them help police the used market and holding resellers accountable for trafficking stolen goods.)  Might even ask the used marketplace (Craiglist) to require frame numbers when posting ads would also work great in tandem with this.

        • There are many good ideas from internal and external sources at the SJPD. The problem is, each program takes money and time.  When you have a soaring homicide rate, hookers blatantly cruising the streets, gang fights every weekend, people waiting for hours for a police response to urgent events, property crimes cases closed due to a lack of manpower do you really think anybody at the PD is focused on stolen bikes?

  34. Chief Moore, I know a few people that were laid off from your department in June. I also know that they have been called and offered their jobs back. If they accept the position back is it only to be laid off again next June? When do you expect this game to stop and when will you actually take a stand and address the residents of San Jose and tell them the truth about crime and the lack of service the department plans to provide…

  35. Dear Chief Moore,

    My question is this:
    How do you think you’d feel if you came to work one morning only to discover that you’d been replaced by an illegal alien who was willing to do your job for half the pay?

    You probably wouldn’t like it one bit.

    But your policy of ignoring suspected and known illegal aliens inflicts this circumstance on many hardworking Americans- your fellow citizens to whom you owe some measure of loyalty.

    As an independent contractor who does “one of those jobs Americans won’t do”, I rely upon our Government, and that includes our local police force, to enforce the laws that protect me not only from physical harm, but to enforce ALL the laws. That includes our immigration laws- which were designed, at least in part, to protect American workers like myself, who are perfectly willing to compete on an AMERICAN playing field, from being forced to compete with a labor force that sneaks across the border and is happy to work for pay that we Americans consider substandard.
    Your policies, which are not surprisingly in perfect lockstep with the political philosophy of Ms. Figone, the lady who hired you and have been useful in expediting your political career, are in truth a complete betrayal not only of the citizens that you swore to serve but of your officers, most of whom have been placed in a position of selling out by accepting a paycheck for a job which they are prevented from performing.

    The officers who serve under you deserve the respect of the people and they would have that respect if they were allowed to do their job. But in the pursuit of your career ambitions you have subjected your officers to the scorn of a public that clearly sees that the San Jose Police Department is deliberately NOT delivering on the promise ‘To Protect And Serve’.

  36. No I dont work for SJPD and No I am NOT a retired Cop. I am a District 2 resident. So my question to the Police Chief is: I can see that you have a morale issue in your department. I can read all the above posts and see that! Have you ever thought about having a forum or web site where your officers can post questions to you either by name or without a name and you answer those question? It looks like there is a communications pitfall in your chain and you need to fix that! Your officers are upset and you should be trying to work those issues out, and not in a public forum… Just my 2 cents If you are a good leader you should seek ways to communicate with your force and let officers post questions without their name…Please consider such a forum :>)

  37. Weren’t the answers supposed to be posted yesterday? Typical response from our Chief. He’s too busy politicking and being Figone’s lap dog that he doesn’t take the time for his troops. I am utterly amazed at how little respect he has. Perhaps the POA should take a vote of no confidence like Fire did with Their previous chief. Even when Moore takes the time to meet with staff in briefings or other places he says one thing then does the opposite. I for one do not trust him. So, my question if it ever gets answered is what does he plan to do to earn the respect and trust of his department?


  38. I believe the number is seven, that is, seven more officers were granted retirements in the past week. THE EXODUS AT SJPD CONTINUES!

    OOPS, sorry, am I being negative again?

  39. sure taking a long time to answer a couple of questions.  Must be (1) the Chief is out of town AGAIN or (2) the real chief rrrrrrrrr city manager is writing the responses on her own time table.

  40. 63.  63 calls for service penning today at 3pm.  No one to go.  My question for the Chief is, come October 14th are you still going to announce the 5 new captains?  I’m sure that will help things, because captains… ah… go to calls?  Investigate crimes? BTW, you looked like hell in the report writing video.

    • Promotions are the ONLY way this Chief acquires support within SJPD. Only a bumbling FOOL lays off officers and then PROMOTES BRASS to positions in which they do even less than LTS, who do FAR less than SGTS,…who do FAR LESS than OFFICERS. He is solidifying a legacy of incompetence and moving closer to a POA VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE…

    • A high percentage of those calls were priority 1 calls. Calls had been stacking due to the officer involved shooting at had occurred around 11:00 am. Almost every marked unit in the city was assigned to the shooting.  Santa Clare PD and Campbell PD both called and offered “mutual aid” and their offer was refused. Why Chief? To proud? Your pride hasn’t stopped you from from playing gopher for the city manager. Maybe it’s time you cashed in your sick time and let someone with a little backbone take your place.

      SJPD is seriously under staffed due to you allowing the city manager and the mayor to play politics with staffing.  You not only backed their play but sold your soul to the devil when you stated you could safely patrol the city with 1100 officers….what do you think now?  Still stand by that statement? It’s not to late to take a stand and save what’s left of SJPD.  Maybe you should take a long look in the mirror and decide if your are a man enough the job.  If you decide to do the right thing, I think you will find a ground swell of support from your officers and the community.  It can be very refreshing to have
      your pride back.

      • “Maybe it’s time you cashed in your sick time and let someone with a little backbone take your place.”

        So, who do you think Figone would pick if Moore retired?  Somebody with a backbone? I think not, try Phan Ngo or anybody else she can stick her hand up their backside and work them like a puppet.  Elect a chief and you might have a chance.  With the current system you will get who the City Manager and Mayor chooses.


        • Ratios or lack of ratios dont kill people; people kill people.  A higher ratio of officers wouldn’t have prevented any of these murders.

  41. Has gang violence been quelled as indicated by the departure of the two federal agents?  Were the agents sent home because of their success or from community pressure? How many gang members did the agents arrest? How many investigations did they cultivate?


  43. So after a week full of violence to include double homicide, multiple officer-involved shootings (one where the officer would have been murdered if the suspect had the slightest idea how to properly use a pistol) and staffing so low that calls regularly pended for 4-6 hours each day, the Chief has yet to show his face to the troops. In person.
    Wait, after a year that looks to more than Double last years homicide total…among many other things, still no leadership from Chris Moore.
    When he was trying for the job last December, he was everywhere. He got the job and immediately vanished. Hmmm….did he get laid off too? Might not be a bad idea