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Cortese can restore pride in police ranks

Special to the Mercury News 

We support Dave Cortese for mayor of San Jose, and we'd like to tell you why. As former chiefs of the San Jose Police Department, we understand all too well the dire straits in which our department currently finds itself.
We didn't just lose 400 officers over the last six years. We lost literally centuries of police experience that will be difficult to replace -- patrol officers who knew the community, detectives with thousands of closed cases under their belts and future leaders groomed to take leadership roles.
We are losing them because City Hall essentially made them the scapegoats for poor budget decisions and a bad economy. As a result, they were willing to transfer to other police agencies to regain respect for their work and to secure better wages, benefits and working conditions.

As San Jose voters select their next mayor, it's important to go beyond campaign rhetoric and carefully examine the candidates' records and actions. That's because the next mayor cannot restore our community's safety without convincing hundreds of new police officers to join an agency where they will be paid less than their Bay Area peers, inspiring our existing officers to stay during the rebuilding process and closing the trust gap that currently exists between our police officers and City Hall.

This effort will take more than a new "plan" mentioned in any campaign mailers. Candidates who believe they can solve this crisis all on their own don't understand the process or the challenges ahead.
During our tenures as chief, we've seen many proposals from politicians fail because the leaders refused to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue with all stakeholders. San Jose cannot afford this type of failure when it comes to protecting its residents; it will take a mayor with a proven record of collaborative leadership along with support from police officers at every rank level, for we are in a crisis. It is a leadership crisis, and it's why we believe Dave Cortese is the best candidate for mayor.

We know the dynamic tension and challenges of working with a police union when running the Police Department. However, for many years we always enjoyed a mutual respect and willingness to do what's best for the public, even if we disagreed on how to do it. Simply blaming our rank-and-file officers for budget woes is a poor way to avoid the hard work necessary to solve very real fiscal challenges, and rebuilding trust will be hard work. We know it will take collaborative leadership to heal our Police Department, reduce increasing crime levels and restore San Jose's public safety.
Make no mistake about it, we also recognize that San Jose and other cities across the country are struggling with tough fiscal challenges, and the new mayor and public safety unions will need to address them. Yet while we recognize that all of the candidates in the mayor's race are honorable people who have San Jose's best interests at heart, not all of them possess the type of collaborative leadership style that can lead to real solutions.
Unfortunately, all of Cortese's opponents supported the failed policies that have decimated and demoralized our police force.

We strongly believe that Dave Cortese can bring everyone in the community together to heal the wounds caused by the well-intended but poorly planned and executed attempt to reduce the costs of city services at the expense of public safety. We know a collaborative leader can leverage earned trust to push the unions outside of their comfort zones and achieve much-needed fiscal savings.

A trusted leader can begin the healing process our city and department desperately need so we can once again be America's safest big city.
Dave Cortese is that proven leader, with a track record of bringing opposing sides together to solve problems. Dave can help provide our police officers a reason to stay and give new police recruits a reason to come work in San Jose. We support him, as should San Jose's voters.

Rob Davis was San Jose's police chief from 2004-2010, Bill Lansdowne from 1998-2003 and Lou Cobarruviaz from 1991-1998. Chris Moore, chief from 2011-2012, concurs in the opinion. They wrote this for this newspaper. 

Post script: Former Acting Chief Tom Wheatley has also endorsed Dave Cortese for Mayor.

3 Comments to Cortese can restore pride in police ranks :

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accounting assignment help online on Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:21 AM
Police plays very important role in our daily lives, they provide us security and make sure we feel safe. We should support them and try to make our community more safer and peaceful.
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Amrita on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 9:36 PM
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with me.
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webstagram on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 1:27 AM
You share really interesting news which I never read on any website. Thanks for sharing here.
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