Santa Clara County will spend nearly a half million dollars on a county gun team in charge of removing guns from people deemed to be dangerous, the county's Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.
In a unanimous vote, the board accepted a proposal from board president Cindy Chavez to create a gun team of seven people -- three crime analysts, two lawyers and two prosecutors -- within the district attorney's office.
The team, which already had a lawyer and prosecutor and will add the five additional positions, will be funded by grant money and by $427,247 from the county's general fund for staff salaries.
The county funds will cover the newly hired attorney's salary of $215,653 and the prosecutor's salary of $211,594.
Supervisors Joe Simitian, Dave Cortese and Mike Wasserman all called the proposal a "good idea" after Assistant District Attorney James Gibbons-Shapiro briefed the board on the county's gun violence.
According to prosecutors, gun violence has been on the rise in San Jose, the county's largest city, since 2009 -- specifically cases involving aggravated assaults with a weapon and robbery with a weapon.
The new gun team will be tasked with identifying persons with domestic violence convictions and temporary restraining orders who are no longer lawfully allowed to own guns, making sure they don't have guns and, if necessary, obtaining search warrants for local law enforcement to remove the guns from the possibly violent people.
Wasserman said Tuesday that while the county "does God's work in a thousand ways," he was concerned about spending money addressing San Jose's gun violence problems and said he'd like to know why the city can't address the issue without additional funding from the county.
A San Jose police spokesman said police will respond Wednesday to Wasserman's question.
Wasserman also noted that the board had been approving recently many items that increase costs for the county, but few, if any, that boost revenue.
"We have nothing in our agenda (today) that raises revenues in our county," Wasserman said. "We're funding everything, and it's all good stuff, but I feel like we're headed to a cliff."