I hope your weekend was enjoyable. I wanted to let you know that I believe that you have a very difficult job and I wanted to say thank you for your nearly 30 years of service to San Jose.
Managing an organization of approximately 1,400 people, public or private, is a challenge. It is impossible to make everyone happy internally or externally all of the time, or even some of the time. Overseeing a Police Department is one of the most difficult and demanding jobs one could have because of the high level of public scrutiny. As I have heard you say many times at the police academy graduations; wearing the police uniform puts the officer in the spotlight and all eyes are on the police officer. Our police are judged by everything from their words to the tone of their voice to body language.
With the retirement of Assistant Chief Katz there is a void in the police department leadership ranks. SJPD has the privilege of having many skilled men and women through the ranks who work hard and are committed to the safety of our residents. These dedicated police officers can and will rise to the level of leadership as needed. This is the benefit of having high standards of recruitment and vetting during the police academy and field training program. These high standards are a result of the investment of approximately $129,000 made by the city of San Jose into each new officer’s training and thus we risk a loss of approximately $10 million with the layoff of 80 of our most recently hired police officers.
As you know I have been on the Council for three years and in that time there has been challenging public discourse around SJPD. Each time SJPD needed an articulate speaker, for example on police records, or a technical speaker on the Bobby Burroughs police sub-station, and one person’s performance stands out. Again and again, whether at a council meeting, committee meeting, community or special meeting, I remember one person in particular always being there by your side or by himself defending, explaining and promoting the SJPD. This person was always on target and therefore respected by many officers from all backgrounds.
That was and is Capt. Gary Kirby. Time and time again Capt. Kirby rises to the occasion. Chief Davis, I believe you have a unique opportunity to promote from within a respected member of the SJPD. From my perspective Capt. Kirby is just missing the title of “Assistant Chief” since he already performs by your side and has lived up to the term, “got your back,” but the “back” to me refers to the entire police department.
Thank you for your consideration Chief Davis. Stay Safe.