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May 13, 2014 > Santa Clara County moves forward for SheriffÕs support to San Jose PD

Santa Clara County moves forward for SheriffÕs support to San Jose PD

Submitted By Janice Rombeck

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors moved forward on April 29, with a proposal to provide law enforcement support to the San Jose Police Department while the City faces a critical shortage of officers.

The supervisors voted unanimously on Supervisor Dave CorteseÕs proposal, and requested that Sheriff Laurie Smith continue to work out the details of public safety efforts with City and Valley Transportation Authority officials.

In talks with Sheriff Smith, the City identified three functions that SheriffÕs officers could temporarily take over for the City:

SheriffÕs officers could provide more law enforcement coverage of VTA structures, including bus stops and shelters, light rail platforms and parking facilities. The VTA currently contracts with the SheriffÕs Office to patrol transit areas in Downtown San Jose.

The SheriffÕs office could take on law enforcement duties for all County-owned buildings in San Jose.

SheriffÕs officers could guard people who are arrested who need medical attention before they are booked into jail.

The Supervisors will discuss the issues again at their meeting on Tuesday, May 20. Formal agreements and contracts would need to be approved before SheriffÕs officers could be deployed to help out the City.

ÒThe idea is to free up police officers from some of these duties so they can patrol neighborhoods,Ó Cortese said. ÒThatÕs where the increase in criminal activity is happening.Ó

Cortese asked County administrators two weeks ago to explore ways the City could contract with the County to provide extra law enforcement in light of rising crime rates in neighborhoods. The number of officers on the SJPD has dropped from 1,400 to about 900 in six years.
For more details, call the Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese at (408) 299-5030.

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