SAN JOSE, Calif. —
Less than half of the available San Jose police academy spots have been filled – a number called ‘disappointing’ by the city’s police union.Of the 60 spots in the incoming class only 29 were filled when the final pool of 58 applicants was processed by the hiring board on Tuesday night.
Deputy Chief Dave Knopf told that in the past the department would get around 1300 applications to go through the written and physical tests for each class. For this class, the agency had just 750.“It’s not good,” he said of the drop-off in recruits. “We’d love to have many more.”However, Knopf said the number fluctuates. The number applications for the class that follows this one is actually up.
Jim Unland, the head of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, said the problem is not the number; it is the attrition rate for rookie officers and also veteran officers.San Jose has seen a decline in the officers on the force because they are lured away by other municipalities that have better compensation packages.“Many of the 29 we’re hiring are not going to stay,” he said. “If the numbers hold, we’ll lose half of them before the end of the year.”Of the 40 recruits in the last academy class, more than half have already left the department for greener pastures.