Police in San Jose to increase by 20% under new agreement

SAN JOSE (BCN) Police pay in San Jose will increase by 20 percent over the next few years after Tuesday's City Council passage of an agreement between the city of San Jose and the San Jose Police Officers' Association.

The agreement addressing police wages and benefits, which have long been contentious in the city, was made on Jan. 12 and outlines terms of pay increases through July 2019.

According to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo's office, the police department's numbers have dwindled from 1,373 officers in 2009 to 927 as of Jan. 26.

Accounting for officers on modified duty, disability or leave, or those in training, only 797 officers are currently full-duty.

At nine officers for every 10,000 residents, San Jose has the lowest ratio of officers to residents of any major U.S. city.

According to the mayor's office, San Francisco and Los Angeles have 25 officers to 10,000 residents.

Wage increases totaling 20 percent over the next 3.5 years aim to make the department more competitive for retention purposes.

In recent years city officials have noted that young officers tend to leave the department for neighboring cities that offer better wages.

 Officers will immediately receive a $5,000 retention bonus. The contract also stipulates that cadets who leave the department within five years of graduating police academy reimburse the city for a portion of their
tuition.

The contract will cost the city $4.65 million for fiscal year 2016-17, $21.8 million in 2017-18, $18.3 million in 2018-19 and $9.2 million in 2019-20.

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