Rumors of cuts at the San Jose Police Department have a number of Bay Area residents worried about potential increases in crime rates. Some point out that home invasions, burglaries and other crimes against property have seen marked increases in the first part of 2012. This, they say, is directly correlated to fewer cops being on the street.
The numbers speak for themselves. San Jose’s crime rate is up 39 percent. The Mercury News has reported a 63 percent spike in home burglaries in Palo Alto.
A spokesperson for the San Jose Police Department said shrinking budgets have forced them to trim staffing levels. including sworn officers. Because of that, calls for help are being prioritized. Calls pertaining to imminent threats and/or violent crime receive the highest priority. Calls reporting “suspicious activity” have, unfortunately, fallen to the bottom. They have also stopped sending officers to homes just because an alarm has been tripped. Now, officers will only be dispatched if a crime has occurred.
At the same time, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department has boasted a 13 percent drop in burglaries in areas they patrol despite facing similar cuts.
Some new arrestees have said their friends and cohorts passed along “tips” about high-income communities which would soon have fewer patrols. Law enforcement officials say they continue to remind residents to lock the doors and windows of both their homes and vehicles.
The San Jose Police Department is also recommending people trim back hedges that are blocking doors and windows, to record serial numbers of electronics and other items of value, and suggest installing tracking application applications on personal electronic items such as iPads, tablets and smart phones.