Berkeley’s Southside gets new joint police focus

Residents living on the Southside of campus will soon see a greater police presence in their neighborhood, particularly late at night on the weekends and during Cal football games.

The city of Berkeley police department and the UC Berkeley police department announced Tuesday that they are forming joint patrols to cruise the neighborhood. They hope that a coordinated effort will cut down on crime and public nuisance crimes.

In recent years, there have been numerous sexual assaults, robberies, burglaries, and even an unexplained death on the Southside of campus. This summer, someone set a string of small arson fires along Telegraph Avenue.

The new partnership, called the Joint Southside Safety Patrol, will pair a city cop with a university cop to travel in the same squad car on the south side of campus from 10 pm to 2 am Thursdays through Saturdays. There will be two squad cars dedicated to the effort. More officers will be out on the streets before and after Cal home football games.

In the past, people living in the area who wanted to report a crime sometimes called both the city and the university.

“This plan responds directly to our community’s desire for a safer and more civil Southside neighborhood,” Vincent Casalaina, past-president of the Willard Neighborhood Association told UC Berkeley News Service. “I am especially pleased that the city police dispatchers will be able to route calls from Southside neighbors directly to both the UCPD and BPD officers already in the vicinity and allow them to respond more quickly to problems.”

One focus of the new patrols will be loud parties and illegal alcohol consumption, according to UC. Police will be on the lookout for underage drinking, open containers, public drunkenness, and unruly behavior that disturbs the neighborhood.

“Our focus is on making the Southside safer and more enjoyable for students and longtime residents, who live side by side,” UC Berkeley Associate Chancellor Linda M. Williams told UC Berkeley News. She also chairs the advisory council.

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  • laura menard

    This joint enforcement effort is not necessary new, but a continuance of previous efforts dubbed “party patrol”. Nice to see continued improvements in both practice and coordination.

    Too bad the set of tools BAPAC brought to city of Berkeley specifically in respond to these specific problems, Social Host ordinance (SHO), Responsible Beverage Service training (RBS), and Second Response have not been fully implemented, nor is there any interest or capacity in oversight of these regulatory practices.

    Students for a Safer Southside, one of the partners in the BAPAC coalition was awarded this summer a major Dept of Education grant intended to measure the effectiveness of the BAPAC ordinances in addressing college level minors binge drinking problems. After much consideration Alcohol Policy Network, the technical expertise in the coalition, declined the grant. This was quite frustrating for us after nearly a decade of dedication of study, advocacy, and policy development. Without at least one leader from the city or university committed to progress, we did not see any way to satisfy the grant requirements. However we are very gratified that the federal Dept of Education chose to award us this grant and continues to our advocacy.

    For those interested in learning about community prevention of alcohol problems there is a usual and timely opportunity coming up next week.
    Fried Wittman is also a member of BAPAC and a long time Berkeley resident.

    ISSI’s Center for the Study of Social Change along with the Alcohol Research Group present:

    California’s Experience with Community-Level Prevention of
    Alcohol and Drug Problems:

    Prospects and Challenges for Effective Local Planning

    Wednesday, September 1

    12:00 – 1:30 pm

    Wildavsky Conference Room

    Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

    2538 Channing Way

    Friedner Wittman

    Program Director, Community Prevention Planning Program

    and

    Frank Latcham

    Research Associate, Community Prevention Planning Program

    with

    Tom Greenfield

    Center Director and Scientific Director, Alcohol Research Group

    as respondent

    Abstract:

    Community-level problems with alcohol and other drugs (AOD) are deeply imbedded in community settings and circumstances for AOD use and availability. Effective prevention of AOD-related problems requires action on local AOD risk-environments of availability – defined by time, location, type of settings, and type of occasion – as an integral part of community prevention initiatives. This presentation reports on work by the Center for the Study of Social Changes Community Alcohol Prevention Program (Prevention by Design) to establish a planning model and a local data system to support joint action on targeted risk-environments by public agencies, owner-managers, and concerned community groups. This approach is being adopted by the AOD prevention field in California and nationally with mixed results. Case examples will illustrate use of the Three Actor Model to reduce AOD environmental risk by (1) shifting practices and beliefs regarding the proper place of alcohol/drugs in the community, and (2) overcoming opposition from AOD prevention antagonists.

    ***

    Friedner D. Wittman received a BA in philosophy from Swarthmore College in 1964, an MArch from University of Pennsylvania in 1967, and a PhD in Architecture from UC Berkeley in 1983. From 1967-1973 he was in the U.S. Public Health Service (National Institute of Mental Health). From 1978 to 1983 he was with Alcohol Research Group (Public Health Institute), and from 1983 to 1988 was a founding member of the Prevention Research Center (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation). From 1988 to the present he has been a Research Specialist at UC Berkeley, where he founded and directs the Community Prevention Planning Program (Prevention by Design) at CSSC (formerly the Institute for the Study of Social Change). His research interests include social and psychological factors in the built environment (especially sober housing and treatment facilities), participatory approaches to architectural programming and community planning, and environmental policy for preventive management of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco at state and local levels.

    Frank Latcham received a BA in psychology from UC Berkeley in 1985, an MSW from San Jose State in 1999, and an MA in Urban Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from SUNY Buffalo in 2007. He has worked in a variety of social service positions including as a Project Coordinator and teacher with the Alameda County Library Literacy Program and Jails Literacy Program. From 1999 to 2004 Frank was a Clinical Social Worker at the Center for Child Protection, Children’s Hospital Oakland. In Buffalo Frank received an NSF fellowship with the Children’s Urban Geography (ChUG) project (Dr Meghan Cope, PI) which studies how children discover, experience, and act upon urban space. His research interests focus on qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis in support of participatory community planning.

    Tom Greenfield, PhD, is Scientific Director of the Alcohol Research Group (ARG) of the Public Health Institute (PHI) and since 1999 has directed ARG’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) sponsored by the National Alcohol Research Center on the Epidemiology of Alcohol Problems, now in its 30th year. He is also core faculty in the Clinical Services Research Program at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Greenfield was educated at Caltech (BS Hons, Astronomy), MIT (SM, Space Science) and The University of Michigan (PhD, Clinical Psychology), with postdoctoral work in clinical services research at UCSF. Having earlier conducted research on student substance abuse and evaluated alcohol policy interventions at Washington State University, he was inaugural research director at the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems before coming to ARG to lead its NIAAA-supported national evaluation of the federally mandated alcoholic beverage warning label. Dr. Greenfield directed the Institute of Epidemiology and Behavioral Medicine and served on the Board of the Medical Research Institute of San Francisco and of the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions, now serving on the PHI Board of Directors. He is on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association, on the editorial advisory board of several journals, and is an Assistant Editor at the international journal Addiction. He serves too on the NIAAA Extramural Advisory Board.

    This event is free, wheelchair accessible, and open to the public. For wheelchair access please call 642-0813 one day prior to the event. Light refreshments will be served.

    For more information, call Elizabeth Carlen at 510-642-0813 or email isscucb@gmail.com.