Overpaying police = higher crime

 … Because a city can afford fewer police officers, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed says in this story.

San Jose went from being America’s safest big city a decade ago — with a crime rate 35 percent below state and national averages — to suffering slightly above-average crime.

“What we’re seeing is the effect of 10 years of skyrocketing costs,” for police officers, Reed said. “I believe it has an impact on the crime rate — I think we’re seeing that in the deterioration of services. We need more officers.”

Other factors beside overcompensation contribute to the problem. Some cities are in a race to the top. That’s why San Jose officers can look elsewhere for higher pay. And a culture of over-compensation breeds a sense of union entitlement.

It is absolutely irrelevant to certain public employees that the money is not there — they want it anyway. The fact that their union played a direct role in draining city coffers is lost on them.

They helped impoverish the city, but they’re not getting the money they want, so they’re out of there. San Jose paid platinum wages, and crime is worse than ever.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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