Police in San Jose are sleeping in their RVs outside the police station instead of in their own beds, because of the amount of overtime shifts they’ve been required to do recently.
Some officers live too far to drive home between shifts and those who live closer say they only have three to four hours between shifts, so they don’t bother going home.
The mandatory overtime is beginning to take a toll on officers.
“You know when your kid looks at you and goes, ‘Dad do you have to work overtime or are you going to stay home with us?’ It’s heartbreaking,” Officer Mark Alvares said.
KTVU reports that the dept is so short-staffed that they’ve had to fill close to 350 overtime shifts each week.
Many officers fear that they will start getting into accidents because they’re always so exhausted they could easily fall asleep at the wheel.
This week, the chief plans to go before city council members to discuss the emergency staffing issue.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo calls the RV situation ‘shameful’ and added: “Until we can solve the hiring and recruiting problem and that’s going to require passage of measure F; until we can do that, we’re going to continue to rely on Band-Aids.”
SJPD Chief Eddie Garcia could reportedly shift 47 officers from various departments back out to patrol, to help alleviate the problem.
The city council is expected to approve a declaration for a state of emergency to allow the chief to move over some of those officers.
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