The San Jose Police Department Is Facing Potential Officer Shortages
The San Jose Police Department is not retaining officers or drawing as many applicants as it wants. It’s a reflection of a national trend
The San Jose Public Safety, Finance and Strategic Support Committee heard and discussed the report Thursday.
And data shows sworn applications for the department have dropped by two-thirds since 2018 — from more than 10,000 to fewer than 3,500.
And San Jose has company.
As reported by the New York Times, a survey of 200 police departments across the country revealed resignations for the 12 months ending in April 2021 rose year over year by 18 percent; retirements rose by 45 percent.
The Police Executive Research Forum says, “The policing profession is facing a workforce crisis. Fewer people are applying to become police officers, and more people are leaving the profession, often after only a few years on the job.”
San Jose Police have been making efforts to recruit more diverse candidates. In fact, more than a third of the most recent class of police academy graduates were women — that’s the highest percentage in department history.
But the report points out that policing, and the perception of it, is changing, stating the “need for officers to spend a significant amount of time doing work that is more akin to social work than to law enforcement.”