SAN JOSE -- The latest San Jose police academy was already considered weak with an announced roll call of 29, which was half of what the department aims to fill each round.
Now it could be called anemic, with news that 23 are now expected to show up when the academy begins Tuesday, according to police figures.
The development compounds ongoing recruiting and retention struggles for SJPD. This newspaper reported last month that the undermanned force had approved 29 cadets for the second straight class, seriously imperiling plans to bolster manpower based on fielding three robust classes per year.
Since 2008, the size of the force has shrunk from about 1,400 to just over 1,000 amid political battles between the police union over pay and pension and disability benefits. For the past three years, at least 100 officers have retired or left the force for other agencies annually, and more than a third of the 192 officers hired from the past five academies are no longer with the department.