SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – San Jose’s newly elected mayor Matt Mahan spoke at the city’s Tuesday news conference with SJPD Chief Anthony Mata. The mayor said that Friday’s incident involving a man on a “quest to kill” police officers spotlights the urgent need for more officers.

“Accelerate the rate at which we are hiring. We have a severely understaffed department,” he said.

Back in August, San Jose city councilmember David Cohen said the average response time for a burglary or assault is roughly 22 minutes in San Jose. Six months later, Mahan says he wants to change that. 

Mahan has a new slogan for the city: “Getting back to the basics.” It simply means cleaning up San Jose, focusing on homelessness, and hiring more officers for public safety.

Mahan says San Jose is a bigger city than San Francisco, but San Francisco has twice as many officers. There are “historical reasons” for the discrepancy, according to Mahan. 

Previously, city officials said the San Jose Police Department has been under-invested since 2000. Now the department is paying thousands of dollars in overtime to officers. Mahan says hiring officers is key to moving the city forward.

KRON ON is streaming news live now

“Community policing, foot patrols, commercial districts, things we know our community wants to see, more traffic enforcement, the list goes on,” he said. “We need the highly trained officers”

Mayor Mahan has made it clear that the city needs to recruit more officers, but he didn’t speak about any incentives or what he plans to do to actually recruit more officers.