November 14, 2013
Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
The Farsider is an independent publication that is not
affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely
for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does
not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or
BRIAN MC NAMARA
As a follow-up to last week's Mail Call item about the passing of
former SJPD Officer Brian McNamara, we received a link to his obituary from Tom
Mazzone and Jack Baxter
Feb. 14, 1939 Nov. 1, 2013
Funeral services for Brian
Michael McNamara of Mountain Home, Arkansas, will be private.
Brian passed away November 1, 2013 in Mountain Home, Arkansas at the age of 74.
He was born on February 14, 1939 in Martinez, California, the son of Nicholas
and Georgana McNamara. He worked as a police officer for the San Jose Police
Department. Brian was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and has lived in Mountain Home
since moving from Capitola, California, in 2003. Brian was a Peace Corps
volunteer in Columbia. He was also a lay missionary with the Capuchin Brothers
and flew as a bush pilot in the highlands of New Guinea. Brian cherished his
many visits to Assumption Abbey in Ava, Missouri. He was an avid sky diver.
Brian is survived by his sister, Patricia Lydon of Rio Vista, California, and
several nephews and cousins from all around America, mostly California.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Entombment will be in the Christ the Light Cathedral Mausoleum, Oakland,
Arrangements are by Kirby and Family Funeral and Cremation Services. Visit an
online obituary and guestbook at the link below.
To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Brian McNamara please visit
our Sympathy Store.
Click on the
link below for more information
~ ~ ~
Attached are some pictures of our pal Brian McNamara that were taken during a
special MERGE team meeting after work in the early '70s. I tried to cut his
photo out to protect the guilty but it didn't work. Brian was a great guy, well
liked and respected by everyone who had the honor of working with him. He had a
great sense of humor and was an outstanding police officer who will be missed by
everyone who knew him.
~ ~ ~
A tribute to a wonderful
guy and the rumors from his past. As a rookie I was lucky enough to have my
locker near Brian's. He was a quiet person with a big smile. I can't remember
him ever speaking poorly about another officer. The rumors of Brian's exploits
were more than just a passing fancy.
One day I heard that he was a very accomplished sky diver, so I decided to put
him to a test. I was a member of the Monterey Sky Diving Club based at Fort Ord
near Monterey at the time and had made several static line jumps as well as one
free fall. I had also learned to pack my own parachute. With a beginning
knowledge of sky diving I wanted to see if Brian was for real. It didn't take
more than a few words before I realized that he was, as rumored, a very
accomplished sky diver with multiple jumps.
I was never able to confirm any CIA connection, but as we became a little closer
I found out that he was learning to fly a DC-3. He said he was going to fly it
in South America for his church.
My admiration for Brian grew stronger each time we spoke. One day when he seemed
to vanish from the PD I assumed he had gone to South America for his church.
When he eventually returned he never spoke about his absence. When he left San
Jose and the SJPD and moved to the Santa Cruz area sometime later, I learned he
was working full-time for his church.
As a relatively self centered person I let our acquaintance and small friendship
slip away. I would have been a much better person if I had taken the time and
made an effort to be closer to Brian.
Brian McNamara, thank you for the time I was privileged to know you.
~ ~ ~
I was saddened to learn of Brian McNamara's passing. Since moving to Hawaii I
lost contact with him but he was never forgotten. Like many of us, he struggled
with his demons and life's burdens. The last time we spoke he mentioned the
pulmonary fibrosis that appears to have finally taken him.
Brian was the first person I rode with when I joined the Reserves, and the first
officer I rode with as a partner on midnights when I was hired. Those were
different times, and I guess our collective insanity would today end us all up
at either VMC mental health or downstairs booking.
Brian fit in well with Rich Huerta, Tom Perez, John Diehl, Roger Princevalle and
those other night-crawler reprobates at a time when police work was still a
craft and not yet a profession. He left the department and went to work in New
Guinea as a helicopter pilot for the Catholic church, ferrying missionaries into
the jungle. A crash resulted in a lower back injury that made it difficult for
him to move one foot on the pedal, so he came back to the Bay Area. Many people
thought he had worked for the Agency, but he always denied it to me. Perhaps the
true stories about his adventures in Central America contributed to that rumor.
My favorite was how he escaped from the police by hiding inside a very large
tractor tire that was being hauled over the Andes.
Brian seemed quiet most of the time, but a quick story tells something about
him: His elderly mother was living in the East Bay when she got mugged one day
while walking home and was a bit bruised up. There had been several muggings of
various types in the area, so Brian unpacked his old unregistered .38 Colt
Police Positive, put on his semi-nice clothes and spent nights for the next week
pretending to be a passed-out drunk businessman in the hopes someone would mug
The majority of Brian's life revolved around two things: flying and the Church.
He worked for some time as the caretaker at the Catholic church across from the
lighthouse in Santa Cruz. We would occasionally meet at a coffee shop and
discuss one of his favorite subjects: How one can achieve a life where one is
living in a State of Grace. At one of our last great debates he was critical of
my pursuit of Zen Buddhism in a way that fractured the relationship for both of
us. So it goes.
I am grateful for having known Brian, and am so very impressed with the way that
Charlie Seaton continued as his friend for so many years. I am certain that
Brian has found the peace he so ruggedly tried to achieve.
The final PBA meeting of
2013 will be held next Wednesday, Nov. 20th, at the POA Hall. Members are
reminded that the PBA doesn't meet during the month of Dec. Next Wednesday's
get-together will feature the standard fare: an open bar that will be pressed
into service at 5:00 p.m. followed by a buffet dinner prepared by Johnny Nguyen
and his crew around 6:00 or shortly thereafter.
Mark Your Calendar
for the Valentine's Day Dinner Dance
The 2014 PBA Valentine's Day
Dinner Dance has been scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15th, at the POA Hall.
Further details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, you may want to put a mark
on your calendar.
NBC Bay Area News Investigative Report (video and article)
San Jose Police Department Gang Stats Misleading
~ ~ ~
2: Investigation (video)
Investigation shows SJPD staffing lowest in
the nation; 117% below minimum standard
~ ~ ~
Mercury News (article)
San Jose: More than Meets the Eye in
SJPD's Gang-related Homicide Stats
~ ~ ~
The New Math: Drop in Gang Violence
Aided by Change in Accounting
I wanted to give the
retirees a little feedback on the outsourcing of backgrounds. First off, let me
say thank you for all of the calls, texts, emails and Facebook entries of
support for the active members of our Department. I can't keep track of the
number of fronts we are fighting right now, but this background issue is one
where we have had a great deal of success.
Over the last few weeks a handful of retired officers have signed up for the job
and have then changed their minds and withdrawn from the position. Up until
today I have not made any direct contact with any of these individuals, so I can
only credit the retirees who have civilly and professionally reached out to them
and asked them to reconsider their choice.
Currently, we have 41 officers off work, out on disability. These are officers
injured severely enough to keep them off the street. Because we now only have 10
authorized exempt employee positions (Article 39) down from 30, many of these
officers have to stay at home because we do not have work for them. Many of them
could do desk work (backgrounding work) if the positions were available.
More concerning is that 7 of the 41 officers have used all of their disability
time (one year of 4850 time) and are now on integration status (the officer has
to use their own vacation, comp and sick time while on the mend). If we can
convince the retirees not to work the backgrounds job, our hope is that the City
will be forced to bring back some of these officers to do the job.
As things stand now, I know of only two retired SJPD officers who have accepted
employment in backgrounds in a civilian capacity. The Department is also trying
to reach out to non-SJPD retired cops. Once they are hired, I will have to
submit a PRA to obtain their names. I will then reach out to them and ask them
to walk away from this job so that our injured have a chance to come back to
I have left messages with the two retired SJPD officers and hope to convince
them to reconsider their opinion. Thank you again for your support and
KTVU CHANNEL 2 (video)
KTVU Investigation Reveals Many Crimes in San Jose
are not Investigated and the Crooks are Taking Notice
~ ~ ~
San Jose: As cop exodus continues, brass
rolls out new plan to boost patrol division
~ ~ ~
San Jose Officials admit to "Juking the Stats"
The Labor Beat (article)
SJPOA Attorney Gregg Adam selected as a Top 20
Municipal Lawyer in California by the Daily Journal
~ ~ ~
California Unions to San Jose: Drop your pension initiative
~ ~ ~
Viewpoints: Slashing pensions at the ballot is foolhardy
November edition of the POA Vanguard is now available on-line. To view it click
on the link below
of the Vanguard will be in the mail shortly
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
Last Saturday's paper included this update about the detectives
who will occasionally have to don their uniforms and lend a hand on the street
by responding to calls in a blue and white. But just how effective this is going
to be is in question since the guys and gals working Homicide, SAIU, TIU and IA
are exempt since they are all on-call.
Detectives to Help Patrol
Streets in San Jose
officers will get needed boost from once-a-month shifts
By Mark Gomez
Nov. 8, 2013
SAN JOSE As the depleted
San Jose Police Department continues to see officers resign and retire at a
record pace, command staff is trying to find ways to maintain a minimum level of
cops to patrol city streets.
For the past 18 months, that void has been filled largely by officers working
dozens of overtime shifts each month.
But in a new move, the police department leadership is requiring detectives to
trade in their suits for patrol uniforms on a regular basis. Once a month, 78
detectives assigned to investigate crimes such as robberies, gang cases,
assaults and other cases will spend one day per month on a patrol shift,
according to Sgt. Heather Randol, a department spokeswoman.
The move, which started Nov. 1 and is scheduled to last at least through
January, is expected to cut in half the number of overtime shifts the department
needs to fill each month.
We want to make sure we can respond to priority calls for service, Randol
said. "Thats our most important priority. More officers is always a better
patrol officers for the past 18 months have been
working dozens of overtime shifts each month to fill a void
left by city budget cuts and department resignations.
The once-a-month patrol
shift is mandatory for detectives in all bureaus except homicide, sexual
assaults, traffic investigations and internal affairs (detectives in those units
are exempt because they all have on-call duties). Detectives wont be
investigating cases from their respective units while on patrol, which is not an
Because of the exodus of cops from the force, the department needs officers to
fill about 170 patrol shifts each month to maintain minimum staffing levels.
Randol said the new strategy was undertaken to make sure police continue to
respond to high-priority 911 calls in a timely manner, as well as have enough
officers on the streets to keep each other safe.
At the end of January, police command staff will evaluate the program and look
at the impact it had on investigations before deciding if it should continue.
But James Gonzales, a detective in the domestic violence unit and a San Jose
Police Officers Association board member, does not believe the move is
This is a test run for something that will be expanded, Gonzales said. What
this program means is an additional police service is lost for our citizens.
Taking myself away from my DV cases means those go on hold until I come back.
Gonzales said officers have been constantly working overtime shifts for the past
18 months and now fatigue is setting in.
Because of burnout, theyve gone to this program because they feel officers can
no longer work at a safe level, Gonzales said.
Officers have been willing to work the overtime shifts to make up for the money
lost in pay cuts, according to Gonzales.
That comes at a cost, he said Officers families want them at home. I think
its imperative officers have their time off to recharge and come back and do
the best job they can under these circumstances.
In 2011, officers approved a 10 percent pay cut in an effort to limit layoffs.
San Jose police staffing levels have steadily dropped for the past five years,
shrinking the force down to just under 1,000 after fielding more than 1,400 five
years ago. Currently, there are 912 officers who are street ready, with another
74 on disability or on modified duty not considered ready to be deployed.
Since last year, 138 officers have retired and 67 have resigned, most of whom
are taking law enforcement jobs in other cities. Police brass hoped to stem the
flow of departing officers with a fresh batch of recruits out of the academy. In
March, 43 cadets graduated from San Joses first academy in more than three
years. In October, another 41 recruits got their badges. Of those 84 recruits,
10 have already left San Jose for jobs in other cities. There are currently
another 53 officers in an academy class that will likely be ready to hit the
streets on their own in late April or May.
Last Week's Poll
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
Ed With knowledge that Joe McNamara was about to sell his Menlo
Park residence and relocate, I asked that he keep us in the loop. We received
the following from the former Chief last weekend
I've sold my house in Menlo Park and am getting ready to move in a couple of
weeks to Carmel. I have just been reappointed as a Research Fellow at the Hoover
Institution for three years and will continue to study policing and government
and maintain my office at Stanford. I'm presently writing an article on the
pension problems (Disclosure: I was not in the SJ pension system and do not
receive a pension from SJ so no vested interest except as a citizen and
scholar of government.)
Basically, I believe that the police side of the issue has not received fair
reporting. The cops negotiated in good faith over a lot of years, following the
rules in collective bargaining. They did not occupy City Hall, stage unruly
protests, or engage in other conduct. Instead, they followed bargaining rules
set by state legislators. The reforms suggested by Mayor Reed rest upon
inaccurate accounts of how and why problems exist. His suggested "reform" is no
reform at all and will most likely worsen the situation. I heard the mayor, in a
recent speech at Stanford, tell the audience that the pension problems developed
because he and the city council were restricted by CALPERS and the CA Teachers
Union. In fact, SJ is not involved in CALPERS or with teachers or the education
The mayors proposed reform, to give mayors and city council more power, will
only worsen problems because mayors and city councils had complete power to
agree or not to collective bargaining contracts. Giving the people who had and
have the ultimate responsibility for the present situation by amendment the CA
Constitution more power is no reform. Instead of fixing the problem, it is far
more likely to worsen it.
I will be spending time in San Jose and Stanford as well as working from Carmel.
I seriously considered moving to San Jose but decided that the lack of police
staffing and other political uncertainty discouraged me. In the past, I have
signed to support ballot Initiatives to amend the California Constitution and
will be happy to sign on in opposition to the Reed reform Initiative.
URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF NOV. 9, 2013
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
Is this an authentic photo of an F/A-18 Hornet flying past
an apartment building, or has it been photoshopped?
Did Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy announce that the chain would oppose
blacks as a marketing ploy?
Did Tom Cruise say that 'being an actor is like serving in Afghanistan'?
Does a new law taking effect in 2014 prohibit smoking in cars when children
Has a man in China sued his wife for bearing him ugly children?
Warning about Huggies Snug and Dry brand diapers causing chemical burns on
Did the word 'picnic' originate with crowds gathering to witness lynchings?
Were Navy SEALs ordered to discontinue wearing the 'Don't Tread on Me'
uniform patch because it is too closely associated with 'radical groups'?
Photographs show a desert memorial constructed to honor the victims of UTA
A round-up of tainted candy news reports from Halloween 2013. Are they all
Photograph shows an F/A-18 Hornet flying past a Detroit apartment building.
Woman gains revenge after being charged $250 by Neiman Marcus for a cookie
Newspaper reader writes letter to the editor
suggesting that the earlier start to Daylight Saving Time has exacerbated global
Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
Photograph shows a tearful World War II veteran embracing a wounded Marine.
Still Haunting the Inbox
Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's
circulating in the on-line world.
Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes
commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
THE LIGHTER SIDE &
OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
Let's kick off the column
with this item from Bill Leavy who says this is one of the most creative and
romantic marriage proposals he has ever seen, at least for the bride and groom
to be. For the ring bearer, not so much. (1 Min.)
Rumor has it that Dick Tush has never tried McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, but if
they are as addictive as this video implies, he said he's going to make a Code 2
run to the nearest Golden Arches and order a 10-piece meal. (We recommend the
BBQ sauce, Richard.) (2 Mins.)
We can't tell what happened
to this BBC cameraman after the Polar Bear attacked his shelter because the
video ends prematurely. We're going to guess that the bear was no longer
interested because the shelter most certainly would have smelled differently
than it did prior to the attack. (2 Mins.)
This clip was sent to Joe
Brockman by the Pastor (and retired Navy Chaplain) who married Joe and his wife.
"I have mixed feelings on gun control, but this certainly presents a powerful
argument," said the Pastor. Joe watched it and sent it to us along with the
comment, "This is a great clip." (7 Mins.)
Ed. Bill Whittle is a conservative blogger who is
best known for his internet videos and short films that he posts on his
website, "PJ Media."
You probably think that
getting caught in the morning or afternoon commute here in the Bay Area sucks,
even if you are retired. If you do, think of those poor schmucks in Boston. It's
so bad there that a song was written about it. Have a listen.
Last week's Farsider
included a clip about a mouse and a cookie, the moral of which was "never give
up." This video from Bruce Morton has the same message, but this one is about an
injured pup who was found along the side of the road.
Remember the movie "The Owl
and the Pussycat" starring Barbra Streisand and George Segal? Here's a clip I
received from my sister-in-law that proves a real owl and a real pussycat can be
playmates. (3 Mins.)
This is rare color footage
we received from Phil Norton of carrier operations in the Pacific during WW II.
We included the clip in the Farsider back in 2007 when it was first posted on
YouTube, but because it is so rare we thought we'd include it again. The only
thing missing is a sound track by Richard Rodgers of "Victory at Sea" fame.
Since we're looking at rare
WW II color film footage, feel free to hop aboard one of these P-47 Thunderbolts
and ride along on a combat mission. No CGI here; it's all real.
This video originated with
Dirk Parsons' brother, who's a pylon judge at the Reno Air Races. According to
the brother, "This is one of my favorite videos of the races. It's very short,
but you definitely get the impact of the speed and sound. Turn up the volume,
but not too loud as it will get really loud very quickly. The first plane makes
the photographer jump." (28 Secs.)
Many of us learned how to
produce a loud shrill whistle using a couple of fingers when we were kids, but
Mitsuhiro Mori learned how to convert his hands into a hand flute and use them
to produce beautiful music. Have a listen to this clip sent in by Alice Murphy.
If you think this biker is
good, you should have seen Bob Kosovilka perform the same stunts on his police
motor 20 years ago. The only thing he had a problem with were the back flips at
the end as he had trouble getting enough air due to his knee-high motor boots.
True story? You be the judge. (4 Mins.)
This CNN clip we received
from a handful of readers is kind of scary as it shows how thieves can get into
locked cars with a hand-held device that neither car manufacturers or law
enforcement are familiar with. (2 Mins.)
Pop Quiz: What is the
biggest animal that has ever lived on planet earth, even larger than the biggest
dinosaur? Imagine an animal so big that its tongue weighs as much as an
elephant, it's heart is as big as a car, and some of its blood vessels are so
wide you could swim in them. The answer may surprise you. Listen as Sir David
Attenborough describes the animal in this short clip from the BBC series titled
"The Blue Planet" (1 Min.)
As far as videos about
"man's best friend" are concerned, this clip from Dean Janavice is somewhat
profound and sure to be loved by dog owners. The title is "So God Made a Dog."
In the interest of equal
time, let us not forget that God also made a cat, and here is a clip about that
very subject. (3 Mins.)
With Christmas right around
the corner it might behoove you to watch this South Korean postal worker because
it's very likely that your spouse is going to assign you the task of boxing
presents and getting them ready to take the post office.
We're not sure what made us
laugh more at this clip sent in by Alice Murphy, the reaction of the kid with
the BB gun or his hysterical father. (1 Min.)
Happy belated 238th birthday to the Marines, past and present.
This rousing video epitomizes what the men and women of the Corps are all about.
Oorah and Semper Fi. (5 Mins.)
here's a feel-good video we thought we'd include to conclude this week's
Farsider. It's about a middle school football team in Michigan that did
something so special during a game that it even surprised their coach. Steve
Hartman reports. (3 Mins.)
Pic of the Week