We want high levels of trust between the community and the police. Public confidence in the police has dropped, perhaps caused partially by rare yet high-profile incidents of police misconduct. As President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing notes, an effective police force relies on trust from the community, and without it, police have a more difficult time addressing crime. Diminished trust in the police may also be contributing to the challenges San José is having recruiting new officers.

Zero Tolerance Corruption Policy
Law Enforcement Reforms

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Zero Tolerance Corruption Policy: ALL public servants should be held to the highest ethical standards possible. No public servant should be exempt from discipline if they act unethically or violate the law. Officers who act unethically by violating the law or abusing their power must be reprimanded, demoted, or removed from their roles. While balancing employees’ right to confidentiality, the public also has a right to know if its public servants act unethically. I’m grateful San José Police Chief Mata is holding officers accountable and striving for an anti-racist police department. 

 

Law Enforcement Reforms: Police reforms can help provide better services to taxpayers and ensure everyone in San José feels safe. Many experts have shared recommendations on what San José can do better. The City Council needs to reprioritize these issues. I suggest a March 2025 City Council Study Session on Reimagining Public Safety to draw greater attention to possible reforms the city can make. With robust input from our community and our police force, we should revisit these recommendations to determine which ones to implement. Here are some ideas for reform I endorse: 

  • Regular training for officers on race, domestic violence, mental health, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity to ensure our police are continually aware of the diverse and changing needs of San José’s community. 
  • Establish a city fund that convicted criminals who commit property crimes will pay into as part of their sentencing, as a way to provide restitution to victims of property crimes.
  • Strengthen the scope of the Independent Police Auditor (IPA) to enable the office to access records to initiate and conduct independent investigations of police officers because it can improve trust between the public and the police. I anticipate this will also reduce complaints against officers. Any proposed changes made to the role of the IPA need to be made in close consultation with the San José Police Department and the San José Police Officers Association. 
  • Release body camera footage within 7 days if there is an officer-involved shooting or beating to maximize transparency.
  • Increased use of cameras in public places and in front of homes to deter crime and capture information/evidence of criminal activity. 
  • Increase efforts to recruit more women, Latinos, Asians, and LGBTQ folks to the Police and Fire Departments to diversify law enforcement so it represents the community it serves.