San Jose Police Academy graduates leave for Greener Pastures

There is a major ethical issue regarding San Jose Police Academy graduates being advised by their union officials to consider leaving the San police department after completing their training. The training is reported to cost San Jose approximately $140,000 per graduate.

At present there is a significant concern regarding public safety in San Jose. But, San Jose, similar to other cities, is hard-pressed to balance budgets and control expenses. There is a major ethical dilemma when the San Jose police union expresses staffing concerns regarding attrition while providing advice and counsel to Police Academy cadets to consider other opportunities after completing their training.

One answer to this problem would be to update the City employment policies and union contracts to ensure that all Academy participants agree to serve a minimum number of years in San Jose. When an officer failed to do so he or she would be contractually obligated pay to the City the full, or pro-rated, cost of his or her training, over an agreed period of time.

Other alternatives can be considered, but the best solution would be for San Jose and the Police Union to work together to improve the morale of the police officers, so they will want to stay in San Jose without coercion.

Citizens of San Jose have great regard for the difficult and dangerous work our officers are required to perform to maintain our safety. However, in the current financially-constrained environment San Jose cannot afford to spend a large sum of money to train a Police Academy cadet and have that officer resign immediately upon graduation to join another city’s police force.


  1. The question is not whether San Jose can afford or not afford to pay for the training of cadets who immediately resign to join another city’s police force. The real question is why should we. If a city can afford to pay for its police officers’ training.

    Furthermore asking cadets to make a voluntary commitment to the city that paid for their training is not unreasonable; its simply protecting the safety of San Jose by ensuring we have an adequate police force and the taxpayers’ money.

    Stanley Zaffos
    A taxpaying San Jose citizen

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