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San Jose Police Chief Says City Is Safe But Admits Department's Challenges

Our weekly half-hour news interview. On air: Saturdays 5:30 a.m.; Sundays 8:30 a.m., 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- It was not many years ago when San Jose was known as the safest big city in the nation but that's no longer true. The city's top cop, Chief Larry Esquivel told KCBS In Depth co-host Jane McMillan and Ed Cavagnaro that it's still a safe place to live but he admits it's a challenge keeping his officers from leaving for better jobs.

Esquivel said the city's residents deserve a fully-staffed police department and that officers also deserve to make a decent living.

"Officers have left because of--yes, the compensation packages in general in terms of wages or the net pay that they're receiving for other agencies and again the total compensation package of what it means to them and the quality of life for them," he said.

"In this Valley, it's no secret that it's expensive for all of us to live and their salary is the ability to really provide for their family and I think that has been the main impetus for them to leave. And the officers that have been on two and three years--the ones that we trained, unfortunately, have gone to other organizations. I've talked to a couple of those of late. I think they really enjoy working for this organization, the city and the training that we provide them and caliber of the officers that we have. But unfortunately, the overriding factor for them has been the compensation package."


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