San Jose Crime Rate Surpasses U.S. Average, Arrests Plummet
by Mike Rosenberg, San Jose Mercury News December 12, 2013
SAN JOSE — Just how bad has crime gotten in San Jose? Once known as America's Safest Big City, the capital of Silicon Valley has a higher crime rate than California or the United States as a whole, while the city's police force is catching half as many criminals as it did just a few years ago.
That's according to a new analysis by the city's independent auditor, which also found the city was clearing a far lower percentage of crimes than the average U.S. city and had seen police response time for some emergency calls more than double in eight years.
The new data come as the six major candidates for mayor each jockey to make public safety their top priority heading into the wide-open June primary. And police Chief Larry Esquivel, sworn in last week, confronts a department with low morale as officers continue to flee for better-paying jobs elsewhere.
Los Angeles Times October 11, 2011
Santa Clara County To Stop Honoring Immigration Detainers For Low-Level Offenders Santa Clara County on Tuesday voted to stop holding some suspected illegal immigrants in jail for an extra period of time so that federal immigration authorities can pick them up.
The policy follows the county’s unsuccessful attempts last year to opt out of the controversial Secure Communities immigration enforcement program. The deportation program, which shares fingerprints collected by state and local police to help immigration authorities identify and deport tens of thousands of people each year, has been criticized for sweeping up immigrants who were arrested but not subsequently convicted of a crime or who are low-level offenders.
Jailed Illegal Immigrants: Santa Clara County Sticks With Lenient Policy
by Tracey Kaplan, San Jose Mercury News November 5, 2013
SAN JOSE — After listening Tuesday to more than 60 impassioned activists, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to stick to the status quo on immigration, rejecting a proposal to turn over jailed illegal immigrants with a history of serious or violent crime to federal agents for possible deportation.
The proposal by Supervisor Joe Simitian to change the current policy and hold "the worst of the worst" inmates for 24 hours past their release date failed on a 3-2 vote. Only Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who opposed the no-holds policy two years ago on the grounds that public safety is jeopardized by releasing violent felons who could be deported, sided with Simitian...
Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who represents heavily Latino District 2, cast the swing vote in favor of one of the nation's most lenient immigration policies. Elected recently on a public safety platform, Chavez said she was "very conflicted" about the issue but believes that holding even an estimated 15 percent of all jailed illegal immigrants for ICE would have a chilling effect on the immigrant community's reporting of crime...
She also noted that 4 out of 10 county residents are foreign-born and 50 percent of households speak a language other than English. Chavez said she wants to work on fixing bigger problems with the criminal justice system, including bail schedules that allow those accused of domestic violence to get out of jail quickly.
SFGate July 6, 2008 by Tyche Hendriks
Immigrant Sanctuary Laws Seen As Practical
But he directed his officers not to cooperate with federal immigration raids when he was chief from 1976 to 1991 and said the policy played an important part in rebuilding community trust in the department.
"There's a real debate going on nationally in police circles, but in almost every large city I know of, police departments have the same attitude: We have to work with these communities; we can't have them viewing the police as the enemy because then you get this 'Don't snitch' policy," McNamara said.