San Jose memorial for fallen police officers criticized by community advocates

The City of San Jose is creating a memorial for its officers killed in the line of duty for, but some critics say the amount money being spent to complete the project is too much.  

The idea of creating the End of Watch memorial began in 2007 and the monument will honor San Jose police officers killed in the line of duty. Now that the monument is nearing completion, community advocate Kianna Simmons, says she disagrees with city officials about funding the project.  

"It’s not so much that the statue is being built, and we’re honoring these 13 men, it’s more so that there’s an imbalance of what we’re paying attention to," said Kianna Simmons, HERO tent Co-founder and President. The volunteer group's website says it was formed in direct response to the uprisings after George Floyd's death to make communities safer.   

San Jose Police say the monument is a collaboration between city council members, various city departments, the San Jose Police Foundation, and other supporters.  

The police department released a statement saying in part: 

"SJPD supports this project and appreciates that it will be placed in front of the Police Administration Building. It will serve as a daily reminder to visitors and SJPD personnel of the sacrifice made by the 13 San Jose Police Officers who have lost their lives in service to their community." – San Jose Police Dept.  

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"In the community that I’m a part of, for an increase and investment into schools, into mental health, into transitional housing. Various other services that our community desperately needs. So, when I first heard the news that the city had invested a half million dollars in a police monument to honor 13 officers, it seemed like there’s so much more going on in the city that could use the funding desperately," Simmons said.   

The City says the design and landscaping of the monument will cost $272,000, while site-clearing and construction is estimated at $354,000. The End of Watch memorial is expected to be completed by the end of the year.  

The city says this location was chosen because anyone who passes by will be able to see it, and it’s a reminder to everyone about these officers’ sacrifice.