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San Jose, California: Showcase

Reduce Police Budgets and Enhance Vibrancy

Tuesday, May 22 --- Recorded Archive Available for Network Members

Consistently ranked as one of the safest large cities in the nation, San Jose, California’s downtown core is a vibrant destination for dining, retail, nightlife, and entertainment. Primarily catering to the 21- to 25-year old demographic, venues attract crowds that surpass 12,000 people. Learn how the city implemented a variety of initiatives to improve public safety, alleviate police budgets and enhance nighttime vibrancy.

Presentation Highlights

  • Reduced Policing Costs: San Jose reoriented its policing model to alleviate a safety budget of $1 million.

  • New Policing Model: The city introduced roving foot and bike patrols to significantly reduce crime, assaults, and gang presence, as well as increase civility amongst patrons.

  • Public/Private Partnerships: Key to the city’s success is collaboration between the Downtown Association, City Council, businesses, and police. Learn how the city sustains this partnership.

  • Live Music on the Streets: “Left Coast Live”, an annual, all-ages music festival showcasing national and local acts in the streets of downtown San Jose, has reinvigorated the live music scene downtown.

  • Silent Disco: Learn how events such as Left Coast Live incorporate noise reduction strategies via music played through wireless headsets.

  • Urban Market Offers Unique Retail: In the spirit of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the San Pedro Square Market features farm fresh vegetables and art showcases amidst daily entertainment, and outdoor dining.

  • Sidewalk Cafés & Alcohol Service: Sidewalk cafes can operate during an entertainment business’s hours of operation or up until 2:00 a.m. Find out how alcohol service is addressed and how quality of life is maintained.



Lee Wilcox

Downtown Manager

City of San Jose



Blage Zelalich

Deputy Director

San Jose Downtown Association



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The Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1983 with a mission to assist businesses and communities to plan safe and vibrant places to socialize. RHI's Sociable City Network creates an organized and more secure opportunity to connect and share information with peers and access resources from RHI and attend RHI online and onsite events at reduced rates.

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