Chris Moore officially stepped in as Chief of the San Jose Police Department in February 2011 after working up the ranks, starting as a police officer on street patrol in 1982. He now oversees more than 1,100 sworn officers in San Jose.

Moore boasts an impressive list of accomplishments: he holds a B.A. From the University of California at Berkeley, an M.P.A. from San Jose State and a J.D. From Lincoln Law School of San Jose. In 1999, he was selected as a White House Fellow to serve a year as Counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. In 2004, Moore was awarded the Fulbright Police Research Fellowship, giving him an opportunity to study police accountability at the London School of Economics and New Scotland Yard. Moore is also a graduate of the California P.O.S.T. Law Enforcement Command College, a member of the State Bar of California and a recipient of the SJPD Hazardous Duty Award.

Name: Chris Moore
Age: 50
Occupation: Chief of Police for the San Jose Police Department

How long have you lived and worked in San Jose?
I have worked in San Jose for 27 years.

What do you like most about San Jose?
San Jose is an absolutely wonderful city. It’s large enough that you have the diversity of not only culture, but businesses. Being the center of Silicon Valley, you have people coming from all over the world and when you get the combination of all those types of interesting and hardworking people, you have an incredible outcome. We have an incredible city.

What brought you to San Jose?
It was the San Jose Police Department. I had a choice of many police departments, but I wanted to work for Joseph McNamara who was Chief of Police at the time. He is a personal hero of mine. Along with that, I had previously had a chance to work with a number of San Jose officers, and when I met them I said, “If this is the caliber of people working for San Jose Police Department, that’s where I want to be.” I’ve worked elsewhere around the country and they’re good, talented people also, but you won’t find the number of quality police officers anywhere other than San Jose.

How old were you when you decided to be a police officer?
I actually started out in the fire service, I have a two-year degree in fire service. But when I decided to become a police officer I was 21.

What’s the most challenging thing about being Chief?
I have to say that given the financial time we’re in, the city’s budget woes have been so difficult. It’s been managing the contraction of the police department. We’ve struggled with the layoffs given the current financial condition.

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not on the job?
I like to spend time with my wife and my daughter. We like to travel. I like to work in the yard and I like any outdoor sport. I enjoy backpacking and hiking. 

What are some of your favorite places in San Jose?
I have a number of favorite places. I love downtown, everything that goes on down there: the restaurants, the people. I enjoy Alum Rock Park and Santana Row.

If you could change one thing about San Jose, what would it be?
I wish that San Jose had a broader, more diverse tax base. I wish we had more businesses manufacturing in industrial areas in our city that would generate tax revenues. I think that’s one of the failures of those who first set us up in San Jose. We didn’t put that many housing plans in, and it costs a lot to provide housing. Places like Cupertino have Apple, Mountain View has Google… We have Cisco and a couple others, but our jobs-to-housing imbalance is great and I wish we could fix that.

Also, I would seek to get more flights from San Jose International Airport, more direct, non-stop flights to the East Coast. For business, for Silicon Valley, there would be a lot of people who would really prefer to fly in to San Jose International Airport. I know the airport director is working hard to make that happen, it’s a challenge.

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in San Jose?
I think back over the 27 years that I’ve been here, and I think it’s Tom McEnery. The reason I say that is he was a young mayor of San Jose when I first came here. He’s lived in San Jose all his life and he cares deeply about the city. He and I don’t necessarily always agree on everything but I always know where he stands and I respect him immensely.