One thing is for sure, Santa Clara Police Department is not being defunded soon. The City Council, led by Mayor Gillmor, continued to pad the pay for our folks in blue, making them the envy of officers throughout the region if not the state.
The average salary for a Santa Clara police officer is now $146,000 annually, which is roughly double the national average.
However, there are reasons. No, it’s not rioting, or the mobs of thieves the police are forced to deal with. It has more to do with “cooperation.”
The Santa Clara Police Officer’s Association isn’t just in the business of representing the interests of its members. Its Political Action Committee (PAC) operates as a money “clearing house” for developer contributions.
Now you expect elected officials to be associated with PACs…but police officers?
Many police departments have established PACs and for a variety of reasons. It may surprise you that the primary reason is…money.
Money given to the PAC is used to support candidates sympathetic to the cause associated with the PAC. In Santa Clara’s case, it does get interesting.
Four years ago, when Lisa Gillmor was running for Mayor (her first winning campaign for the office) she used the Police PAC as her election piggy bank.
Developers were strongly “encouraged” to make contributions to this PAC, which in turn supported Gillmor’s election.
Tens of thousands of dollars found their way into the Police PAC which in turn were used to promote Gillmor’s campaign for Mayor.
So, what is the connection and why the relationship between Gillmor and the SCPD PAC?
Just go back a few years and take a brief look at SCPD employee raises. During Gillmor’s first official term as Mayor, she and her hooked-at-the-hip council members gave the SCPD THREE salary increases within two years. These three increases amounted to 17%.
Salary increase given to elected police Chief Mike Sellers at that time or later?
Funny how soon we forget. Sellers waited through a five-hour council meeting to see what his raise would be. Neither Mayor Gillmor nor any council member even acknowledged Chief Sellers or addressed his salary adjustment, either that night or at any future council meeting.
This is just another reason Santa Clara needs new leadership and representation.
Why is Lisa Gillmor still Mayor?
Does Lisa Gillmor meet twice a week with the POA? Suds Jain and Becker who are blocking 345 texts between them and the 49ers, meet with the 49ers twice a month. Ps, Jain routinely gets texts from Dominic Caserta as does Becker. Again deemed confidential by city legal staff. Why?
I think it’s time for us to be rid of old, tired Lisa Gillmor/
Here are the current base annual salaries for peace officers in neighboring cities/towns…
– Campbell: $129, 425 https://ca-campbell.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/4874/Salary-Schedule-11022?bidId=
– Sunnyvale: $124,775 https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/sunnyvale/jobs/3619770/public-safety-officer-in-training?keywords=public%20safety%20officer&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs
– Sheriff (Cupertino/Saratoga): $127,953 https://countysheriff.sccgov.org/deputy-sheriff-cadet
– San Jose: $105,726https://www.sjpdyou.com/for-applicants/additional-information/salary-benefits-pension
And remember that Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officers must successfully complete 20 weeks police training, 16 weeks fire academy, and 7 weeks EMS academy.
The author of this opinion must also fault/credit Karen Hardy, Raj Chahal, Kevin Park, Suds Jain, and Anthony Becker as Kathy Watanabe wasn’t the only one falling in line with Gillmor on this.
There is absolutely no valid reason law enforcement services should cost more than neighboring cities. Santa Clara residents must continue to improve its seated council members by voting in fiscally conservative representatives who will (1) freeze future pay increases for police and (2) move to amend the charter from electing a police chief to appointing one.
Wasn’t it approved unanimously? Strange to single out the Mayor. If THIS Council does something unanimously it’s usually a no-brainer. I want the best cops here – let’s keep it up.
I see CSC still grinding away. I guess your editorial didn’t work so you keep grasping at straws. How about simple supply/demand? SJPD, the lowest paid, is a dumpster fire right now. Maybe because they are drawing the lowest caliber cop?
Supply/demand? Every agency faces same recruiting challenges, you can’t buy integrity…just ask Santa Clara Human Resources about about their convict-cops Phil Cooke, Brian Gilbert, Daniel Burde, Thomas Leipelt, Ken Henderson, Tyson Green, Kiet Nguyen, Clay Rojas, and Michael Seadler to name a few. In Santa Clara County, Santa Clara PD still holds the titles of (i) least percentage of officers trained in 40 hour Crisits Intervention Training (CIT) and (ii) highest percentage of Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) while still employing Nathan Crescini and Greg Deger who are known policy violators and documented liars.
Even if Santa Clara PD didn’t have a record of employing the “lowest caliber” cops, resident’s should not be paying 20% more for similar services in neighboring cities/towns.
$146,000 and you say keep it up? Three pay raises in 1 year equal 17% while other City employees received 1raise (if they were lucky) for 3 to 5% and this is what you want to cheer about. How about equity? How about out of control spending? how about a new mayor?
It is not very clear what prompted the salary increases when compared to various other cities surrounding Santa Clara. We have the highest paid Officers and a Police Chief who comes from an administrative background and that does not have essential tactical training. How would Chief Pat Nikolai handle the very sad situation that occurred in Ulvade, Texas? It could happen anywhere. Have the Santa Clara Police Officers gone through additional training/qualifying for active shooter situations? Has the Police Chief taken the same types of training through Federal law enforcement agencies that the previous Chief, Mike Sellars, received? Before handing out any raises, Santa Clara needs to review essential requirements for the Police Department and determine if the requirements are being met. You don’t get a raise unless you complete the requirements. It also needs to change the charter to eliminate the requirement for a Police Chief to live in the city of Santa Clara. There are very skilled Police Officers who have the background/training to become Police Chief for Santa Clara. It is no longer practical for an outside candidate to sell their house in one city, uproot their family, just to move to Santa Clara to be Police Chief. Many other similar cities allow their Chief to live outside the city.
Funny how the entire city council has to vote on the contract, yet only Mayor Gilmore is singled out as a supporter.
Miles has never shy’d away from the fact that he hates the police deportment and the raises officers receive. Ask residents of San Jose how their police interactions are or response times of officers.