A spokesperson for the San Jose Police Department said that 43 new officers have graduated from the police academy. This is the first time the department has held an academy in nearly 48 months.
Department officials have said they are proud to have the new officers on board and are excited to get them out into the field.
Staffing levels have declined steadily for the past several years and at one point, had fallen more than 300 officers below its highest levels. This has been due largely in part to normal attrition. Large numbers of sworn personnel have either retired or taken positions within neighboring cities. The reported passage of a “controversial pension reform measure” in 2012, which strongly impacts the San Jose Police Department, did not help.
Mayor Chuck Reed said this is just the beginning. An additional academy will be held later this year and more than 1,600 applicants have already signed up. It is unclear how many additional officers will make it through the hiring process but Reed says he is thrilled to see such a high level of excitement over the open positions. The additional staff will help decrease response times and increase police presence on local streets. This, he hopes, will help reduce and prevent crime.
Persons enrolled in the six-month academy will need to pass a physical fitness test. They will also need to undergo a background investigation, complete a person l interview and score well on a reading and writing test. Hiring efforts are ongoing.