Despite a depleted police force and a rising crime rate, the San Jose, Ca., City Council rejected a member's recommendation to provide neighborhoods with funds to hire private security personnel and deploy other safety measures, the Peninsula Press reports. The suggestion had the support of the city's police union. Councilman Ash Kalra suggested the city allocate $2 million towards the effort, which he called the Neighborhood Safety Grant Program. Neighborhoods could have applied for aid to install burglar alarms, safety sensor lights and to “offset the costs of private security patrols.”
Kalra said burglaries going “through the roof” prompted him to make the recommendation. Tom Saggau, spokesperson for the city's Police Officers' Association, said the union had backed the councilman's idea because the police need help. “I mean, this is unprecedented, that a city — the 10th largest city in the nation — would say 'look we can't protect you, so here's some money neighborhoods, go protect yourselves,'” Saggau said. The Police Officers' Association says the shrinking number of officers is linked to the increasing rate of San Jose property crimes.