SJPD Star


ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The San Jose Police Department is proud of its efforts in working with the community to make San Jose one of the safest cities in the nation. We continue to achieve this standard by educating residents about services available, on our policy procedures and methods to prevent crime. Below you will find information on the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of the San Jose Police Department. Click on the topic that interests you to view the FAQs.

CRIME PREVENTION and YOU

Many residents have expressed concerns over public safety, given that the number of police officers within the San Jose Police Department has decreased over the last couple of years. Crimes are still being investigated and San José remains one of the safest big cities in the country. Even so, changes have been made within the police department in order to use staffing resources effectively.

The most important thing you can do is call the police to report a crime or any suspicious activity.  You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood.  Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the Police when you see something suspicious.  And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes! 

These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) address law enforcement-related questions that have been asked of SJPD during neighborhood meetings. The answers will provide you with a better understanding of how police are continuing to solve crimes and what you can do to help make our city safer.

Question

Are home burglaries and related property crimes being investigated?


Answer

The San Jose Police Department is continuing to work burglary cases through its contact to completion philosophy. What this means is that patrol officers will conduct as much investigation as possible within the initial contact when responding to property crimes. To put more eyes on the street, officers have been reallocated from non-patrol divisions such as Investigations to patrol. However, police are solving burglaries and are investigating the more complex burglary cases as staffing is made available.


Question

If I call police for help, how soon can I expect police to arrive?


Answer

The response time depends on the priority of the call, with imminent danger to life or property being the highest priority.


Question

How are calls for police service prioritized?


Answer

There are four levels of service calls:

  • Priority One calls indicate an event of immediate potential for imminent danger to life or property. 
  • Priority Two calls are indicative of events that have occurred and the suspect may be near but is no longer at the scene and/or no imminent threat exists to life or property.
  • Priority Three calls are non-emergencies where there is property damage or the potential for it to occur. A police report may be requested or required.
  • Priority Four calls are non-emergencies where there is no present or potenial damage to property and suspect is gone.

Question

On January 1, 2012 the San Jose Police Department adopted the Verified Response Protocol to burglary alarms in order to better manage the reduction in staff resources. Will Police still respond to the report of a burglary alarm?


Answer

Police will respond to a burglary when there is the verification the burglary is in progress through sound, video or eyewitness accounts. This change in response came about from the results of a 2008 study conducted by the Police Department in which it was found that more than 98 percent of all alarm calls were false alarms. In 2010, Police responded to 12,450 calls throughout the city in which a relatively small amount -113 - resulted in reports being generated and two arrests.


Question
What can I do to lessen the risk for burglaries?

Answer

Burglaries are typically crimes of opportunity: items worth stealing are left out in the open or homes are believed to be unoccupied. Remember to lock your cars and do not leave valuables such as GPS navigators, cell phones, purses or backpacks left in plain view in your vehicles. Install motion sensor lighting on the front of your house so there are fewer places for someone to hide. The best way to deter thieves is make your presence known. Read more crime prevention tips and watch a video.


Question

If certain crimes such as burglary are on the rise, why do police use their limited resources on traffic violations or to provide security at parties and special events?


Answer

Officers on patrol are encouraged to proactively address issues in their assigned districts when they are not responding to a call for service.  The Police Department also has a Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) which is deployed to areas with patterns of traffic accidents and violations.  While the TEU does operate on a cost recovery model, patrol officers do not have any quotas for the number of tickets to issue. 

In addition, an on-duty officer may direct traffic if a traffic signal is not in service or to redirect traffic at the scene of an accident or crime. This is done to maintain the safety of drivers, pedestrians and others on the roadways. However, police officers that you see directing traffic or providing security may actually be working secondary employment and are considered off-duty. 


Question

If I am able to track the location of my stolen items like an iPad or debit card or perhaps even have surveillance video of the suspects, will Police use this information to arrest the person or persons responsible for the crime?


Answer

Technology has provided incredible advancements in helping the police solve crimes and identify criminals. Unfortunately, solving burglaries does not end with the recovery of stolen items. It takes an incredible amount of resources to investigate, solve and document each case in order to prosecute and convict a criminal. Given the limited resources available, the Department has to manage them to provide the greatest impact to public safety. Even so, police are continuing to arrest burglary suspects and, in many cases, linking them to other crimes.


Question

Should I still call police about suspicious activity?


Answer

Yes. Although police may not be dispatched to the scene if the threat is deemed low, any information you can provide to Police Dispatch can be helpful. The details you provide about an individual(s) description such as approximate height, weight, sex, color of clothing and distinguishing features can be used to determine any patterns or connections to other similar events.


Question

Are there restrictions in place for officers on when they can take breaks?


Answer

The commanding officer is responsible for the allocation of officers responding to calls for service and ensuring they take their entitled breaks. Even so, officers on breaks can be called back on duty to respond to priority calls.


Question

Is there anything else I can do to prevent crime from happening in our city?


Answer

Stay alert and stay informed. Get to know your neighbors and look out for one another.

Subscribe to the Police news releases or visit the SJPD Facebook page or Twitter account to remain “in the know” about what's happening in your neighborhood.

Most importantly, report suspicious activity to Police.  For additional crime prevention tips or to arrange for a crime prevention specialist to conduct a neighborhood association or group meeting contact the San Jose Police Crime Prevention Unit at: 408 277-4133.

Back to the FAQ Categories

CRIME STATISTICS


Question
How can I obtain crime statistics?

Answer

Official crime statistics are available on SJPD.ORG at the Crime Statistics page. These are the crime statistics reported through the UCR Program to the State and FBI. You can review calls for service data via the CrimeReports.com and MyNeighborhoodUpdate.net sites. These sites will allow you to look up addresses, intersections and street names. If you need more specific information, for example in completing a research paper, you can submit a written request to our Records Unit. Please visit the Document Center page for Police Report and Public Records Act request forms.

Back to the FAQ Categories

EMPLOYMENT


Question

What job opportunities are currently available?


Answer

Thank you for inquiring about employment with the San Jose Police Department. We offer both sworn and non-sworn positions. Our web site has all the information you are looking for on the recruiting page located at www.sjpd.org. You can also find out about testing dates and apply on-line. If you'd like any further information, you can contact our recruiting office at (408) 277-4951.


Question

Are you accepting applications for Police Recruit/Lateral Police Officers?


Answer

We are accepting applications for the Police Recruit Officer and the Police Officer-Lateral position on a continuous basis. We test and hire Police Recruit Officers twice a year. Typically, we hire a group of Recruits and start the academy once in January and then a second time in July. These dates are subject to change depending on staffing and budget issues. Lateral testing and hiring is done on an as needed basis depending on how many applications we receive.


Question

What does it take to become a Police Reserve Officer?


Answer

It takes a special person. Those interested in becoming a San Jose Police Officer must exhibit good common sense, possess a strong sense of community orientation, and be both physically and mentally healthy. We look for someone who is well balanced, has good communication skills, and the ability to interact with our diverse community. Requirements are the same as a full time officer. For further information, please call the reserve unit at (408) 277-4963. (Reserves)


Question

What volunteer opportunities does the Department offer?


Answer

The Volunteer Opportunities & Leadership Training (VOLT) Program was implemented in the Fall of 1996, as a complement to the San Jose Police Department's Community Policing Strategy. There are well over 200 members and more applying every day. The department offers many volunteer opportunities. Hours, assignments and qualifications vary according to the information given on your application. To receive an application or for further information you can call (408) 277-VOLT (8658) or you can click this [Link].

Back to the FAQ Categories

LAWS


Question

What is Megan's Law and how can I find out if a sex offender lives in my neighborhood?


Answer

In 1996, California enacted “Megan's Law” which provides the public with photographs and descriptive information on the most serious sex offenders residing in California who have been convicted of committing sex crimes and are required to register their whereabouts with local law enforcement.

You can obtain sex offender information by visiting one of the following locations:

  1. You can follow the link on the San Jose Police Department homepage under Automated Services “Sex Offender Search.”  This web page includes descriptions of the Megan’s Law Unit at SJPD as well as links to frequently asked questions and how to protect your family.
  2. You can visit the Megan’s Law website at http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/
  3. Sex Offender locations and information can also be displayed on a map at CrimeReports.com

Question

Does the City of San Jose have any curfew laws?


Answer

Yes. The Youth Curfew Ordinance, SJ Muni Code 10.28.020, was amended on June 21, 1994 through the efforts of the Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force and San Jose City Council. Curfew hours are 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for minor's 15 years old and under and 11:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for minor's 16 & 17.


Question

Is there a noise law?


Answer
Vehicle Code section 27007 states 50 feet is the allowable distance for noise from a vehicle parked on public property.

As for loud music and noisy neighbors, there is not a defined law that states by what time noise needs to be kept down. We usually suggest you contact your immediate neighbors and find out when is a good time to play and how loud you can get without bothering them. There is no specific decibel level set. To report loud music or noisy neighbors at any time, you can call 311 or (408) 277-8900, the police non-emergency line. (Note: In San Jose, 311 service is not available from all cellular phones.)

Back to the FAQ Categories

MISCELLANEOUS


Question

Where can I obtain information on police auctions?


Answer

The police dept. sends all unclaimed property to the DGW Auctioneers in Mountain View. You can give them a call at 650-559-8905 to receive a current list of dates and times. (automobiles are not auctioned).

First Capitol for surplus vehicles (automobiles)........(707) 552-0739.


Question

How do I file a complaint against a police officer?


Answer

To file a complaint against a member of the San Jose Police Department, simply: Gather as much information as possible. The following information will be helpful for the investigation.

  1. Date and Time of the Incident
  2. Location of the Incident
  3. Name, Badge Number, or description of the Officers involved.
  4. Details of the Incident

You can contact our Professional Standards and Conduct Unit at (408) 277-4094. An administrative officer will take your complaint and have an investigator look into the matter and decide whether or not disciplinary action is needed and whether the officer's actions were in the realm of policy and procedure.

You can also contact the Independent Police Auditor at (408) 794-6226.


Question

Can I go on a police ride-a-long?


Answer

Yes!  We hold ride-a-long orientation classes which are mandatory for everyone wishing to go on a Ride-along. Everyone who plans to go on a ride-a-long must sign-up a month in advance because we have to background the participants. When you call we will need to know your DOB, address, phone number and full name.  To sign-up for an orientation class, click here and fill out the form.


Question

Where are you located?


Answer

The main police buildings are located at 201 West Mission Street. click here for a map

Back to the FAQ Categories

NUISANCE


Question

Where can I report illegal dumping?


Answer

To report illegal dumping you can call the Department of Transportation at (408) 277-4373


Question

To whom do I address issues regarding illegal vehicle parking?


Answer

To report a vehicle parked illegally on a City street, you can call the Department of Transportation (Parking Compliance and Enforcement) at 534-2900. Please have the vehicle make, model, color and vehicle license plate along with the location of the vehicle.

If the vehicle is abandoned on the street, call the Department of Transportation (Vehicle Abatement) at (408) 277-5305. They will also need the above information about the vehicle.

To report vehicles abandoned on private property, visit this link or call (408) 277-4528


Question

I've been having problems with annoying phone calls, what do I do?


Answer

For your convenience we have set up a system so you can report this incident on line at our web site: Online Crime Reports or over the phone at 3-1-1, or at the Information Center located at 201 West Mission Street, in San Jose. Write down your case number and give it to the Telephone Company so they can add a block to your phone and track the calls.


Question

Where do I report graffiti?


Answer

You can report locations vandalized with graffiti by calling the anti-Graffiti Program at (408) 277-2758. They will send a team of maintenance workers to abate the nuisance. You can also call it into 311, if you see it occurring. (Note: In San Jose, 311 service is not available from all cellular phones.)

Back to the FAQ Categories

RECORDS


Question

Can I obtain a copy of a crime or traffic accident report?


Answer

To obtain a copy of a crime or traffic accident report you must be listed as the victim or driver, authorized representative of the victim or driver or someone filing a claim in an accident report. If you are a suspect or an arrested party on a report you may obtain a copy through the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office at 299-7400.


Question

How can I get a copy of a police crime report?


Answer

BY MAIL:You can request a copy of the crime report by mail. Include the following information in your request: Your name, the case number, the type of crime, the date and time of the incident and how you are associated with the crime. see document center

Crime reports cost 22 cents per page (price effective July 1, 2010.  For current fees click here. You may pay by personal check, money order or a cashier's check made payable to "City of San Jose" The amount description must indicate "Not to exceed $16.00". Our mailing address is: San Jose Police Department, Attention: Records Division, P.O. Box 270, San Jose, CA 95103-0270.

IN PERSON: You may also visit the San Jose Police Department Report Counter located in the Main Lobby of the Police Administration Building at 201 W. Mission St.

Note: The Report Counter is open to the public with reduced hours of operation.
Click here for additional information and a schedule showing when the Report Counter is Open to the public.

You can also call (408) 277-4143 between 8:00 and 12:00 noon Monday through Friday if you have questions

You will need to complete a pink report request form listing the following information: Your name, the case number, the type of crime, the date and time of the crime and how you are associated with the crime. You will need to present identification. You may pay by cash or personal check, money order or a cashier's check made payable to "City of San Jose". 


Question

How can I get a copy of a traffic accident report?


Answer

Traffic Accident Reports are available online via this link. For current fees click here. If you are unable to find your report it may not be available for download at this time. Please check back at a later time, visit the Police Administrative Building at 201 W. Mission St or call (408) 277-4143 if you have questions.

Back to the FAQ Categories

TRAFFIC


Question
What can be done about illegally parked vehicles?

Answer

It depends on where the car is parked and/or whether the vehicle is abandoned on private property.

  1. To report an illegally parked or abandoned vehicle on the street you can call the Department of Transportation at (408) 277-5305.
  2. To report a vehicle parked on an unpaved surface of private property or if a car has been inoperable for over 72 hours on private property (missing essential parts like engine, transmission, wheels, windshield) call Code Enforcement (408) 277-4528. Please have the vehicle make, model, color and vehicle license plate along with the location of the vehicle.

Question

Can I request a traffic accident report?


Answer

To obtain a copy of a crime or traffic accident report you must be listed as the victim or driver, authorized representative of the victim or driver or someone filing a claim in an accident report. If you are a suspect or an arrested party on a report you may obtain a copy through the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office at 299-7400.

Traffic Accident Reports are available online via this link. (For current fees click here.) If you are unable to find your report it may not be available for download at this time. Please check back at a later time, visit the Police Administrative Building at 201 W. Mission St or call (408) 277-4143 if you have questions.
OR:
Send your written request, payment and self addressed stamped envelope to: San Jose Police Department, Attention: Records Division, P.O. Box 270, San Jose CA 95103-0270.

Date and time of the accident, the case number, location of occurrence and how you are associated with the accident. For current fees click here. You may pay by personal check, money order or a cashier's check made payable to "City of San Jose". We do not accept cash payments.


Question

My vehicle was impounded for driving without a driver's license, what happens now?


Answer

According to the California Vehicle Code section 14602.6, if the driver is cited for driving without a license, then law enforcement is mandated to impound the vehicle for 30 days. The owner of the vehicle is responsible for storage fees during this period. At the end of the period the vehicle may be towed. For further information on a towed vehicle you may call the (408) 277-4156.

Back to the FAQ Categories

The City of San José is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community's expectations by
providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public. Read more about the City Code of Ethics.