SJPD “21st Century Policing”

Chief of Police
Chief of Police:
Eddie Garcia

In May of 2015, President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing issued its final report.  The task force was created to strengthen community policing and trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve – especially in light of recent events around the country that have underscored the need for and importance of lasting collaborative relationships between local police and the public. 

The San Jose Police Department has taken numerous positive steps to bring the Department in line with recommended best practices that promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.  Below is a summary of the Department's current efforts to strengthen its commitment to being a model 21st Century Police Department. 

– Chief Edgardo Garcia

Department Project


Fair & Impartial Policing Training

The Department has implemented a comprehensive program focused on fair & impartial policing (FIP).  The "fair & impartial policing perspective" reflects a new way of thinking about the issue of biased policing.  It is based on the science of bias, which tells us that even well-intentioned humans (including police officers) manifest biases that may impact their perceptions and behavior.  The Department now provides its officers with training that makes them aware of their unconscious biases so they are able and motivated to activate controlled responses to counteract them. 


In process

The Department's entire command staff has attended FIP training.  Additionally, over 20 Department members, both civilian and sworn, have been trained as instructors to facilitate FIP training for the entire Department.  It is the Department's goal to have every member, both civilian and sworn, trained in FIP by December of 2016.    


Procedural Justice Training

Procedural Justice is based on 4 central principles:

  1. Treating people with dignity and respect
  2. Giving individuals a "voice" during encounters
  3. Being neutral and transparent in decision making
  4. Conveying trustworthy motives

In order to build trust and legitimacy within the Department and with the community, all officers will attend procedural justice training.


In process

Procedural Justice Training officially kicked-off beginning the week of 9/26/2016. It is the Department's goal to have every member trained in procedural justice by the end of summer, 2017.    


Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training

All Department members are now required to attend a 40 hour CIT course to assist them in having safe and successful encounters with mentally ill clients. 




De-Escalation Training

All officers are in the process of receiving de-escalation training as an effort to reduce the use of physical force. 



De-escalation training is scheduled to take place on a quarterly basis. 


Body Worn Cameras

To increase transparency and accountability the Department has purchased Body Worn Cameras for use by officers in the field.  All patrol officers are currently receiving training on the Body Worn Cameras.  Once trained, officers will be required to wear the cameras while on patrol.  Many officers have already completed the training and are wearing Body Worn Cameras in the field.       


In process

The Department began deploying Body Worn Cameras in the field on July 13th, 2016.  It is anticipated that the entire Patrol Division will be trained and wearing Body Worn Cameras by the next shift change, which takes place in mid-September, 2016.  It is the Department's goal to train every sworn officer and support staff by March of 2017.     


UTEP Study

The Department has partnered with the University of El Paso, Texas – Center for Law and Human Behavior (UTEP) to conduct an analysis of the Department's limited detention data on traffic and pedestrian stops. The goal is to identify and better understand any racial and/or ethnic disparities that may exist in the data, including any data that suggests racial bias, to ensure that the Department is policing in a fair and impartial manner. 



The study is complete and was announced in a Press Release on February 17, 2017



Download the Study Here


Use of Force Committee

The Department has formed a standing Use of Force Committee to review current SJPD practices with regard to force.  The committee provides policy recommendations to the Chief with the goal of ensuring the Department's use of force policies and procedures are in line with established "best practices." 





IPA Recommendations

In 2016, the Use of Force Committee has implemented or is in the final stages of implementing several of the Independent Police Auditor's (IPA) recommendations.   The result of this work includes the following updates to the Department's Duty Manual:

  1. Officers may not use a "choke-hold" (which cuts off a person's airway) absent the need for deadly force (i.e. the force being responded to presents a danger of death or serious bodily injury).
  2. The preamble to the Department's use of force policy now includes a statement regarding the sanctity of all human life, as well as the expectation that officers will de-escalate when appropriate.
  3. The Department is in the final stages of implementing a policy regarding Tactical Conduct (also known as "pre-force tactics").  This policy will require officers to consider several important tactical factors that may mitigate the need for force.  The goal of this policy is to minimize the need for the use of physical force to the extent possible.     



The Department anticipates implementing all of the agreed upon IPA recommendations by December of 2016.   


Coffee with a Cop

This is a program where officers and community members meet for coffee and conversation.  There are no agendas or speeches, just a chance for community members to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers who serve them every day.   






Community Advisory Board

The Chief's Community Advisory Board (CAB) is comprised of selected community members and officers, including the division captains, patrol supervisors and representatives from the Police Officers Association (POA). The CAB's primary function is collaborating with the Department on solving issues that affect the community and helping define what community policing means in the City of San José.




LGBTQ Committee

At the Chief's direction, the Department is forming an LGBTQ committee comprised of selected community members and Department members.  The committee's primary function will be to work collaboratively to address issues that affect the LGBTQ community and to help foster tolerance and equality.     



The first LGBTQ committee meeting took place in August of 2016.   


T.E.A.M. Kids

T.E.A.M. Kids (Together Empowering And Mentoring Kids) is a program that allows patrol officers to visit elementary schools in blocks of six weekly visits to build positive relationships between the police, students, faculty and parents.  The primary goal of the program is to support crime prevention and youth safety with an emphasis on gang prevention education.





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.