Reader Poll: What next after Berkeley Police Chief storm?

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meeham. Photo: Tracey Taylor

The revelation this week that Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan had sanctioned sending 10 officers to Oakland to “live track” his son’s stolen iPhone in January prompted international media interest and an impassioned response from the Berkeley community.

More than 320 Berkeleyside comments offered an insight into how the incident was viewed. The fact that no report was filed for the investigation, and that the Chief was also under scrutiny for his decision in March to send an officer to a reporter’s house in the middle of the night (read about that here), lent the episode added complexity.

When Chief Meehan spoke to Berkeleyside on Wednesday, he stressed that the search for his son’s iPhone did not constitute preferential treatment, and that such a response would have been initiated “for anybody in the city.” It doesn’t appear that Meehan believes this is something he should apologize for, nor that it is a resignation issue. Interim City Manager Christine Daniel chose not to comment.

How do the Chief and the police department move on from this? Has it damaged the Berkeley police department’s reputation? What steps should be taken next?


Answer our poll so that we can take the temperature, albeit non-scientifically, of how the community is feeling now. Check the box of each statement with which you agree. Because we are bound to have missed some questions or issues you would like to address, feel free to elaborate in the Comments. We will keep the Poll open until midnight on Monday May 28 and publish the results on May 29.

What is your view of Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan and the police department?

  • The iPhone and Doug Oakley incidents have damaged the reputation of the Police Chief. (60%, 182 Votes)
  • Both the iPhone and Doug Oakley incidents were lapses in judgment that are part of a pattern of poor decision-making from the Chief. (50%, 152 Votes)
  • Chief Meehan should release the findings of the independent report that was made into the Doug Oakley incident. (44%, 133 Votes)
  • The iPhone and Doug Oakley incidents have damaged the reputation of the Berkeley Police Department. (38%, 115 Votes)
  • Chief Meehan should have apologized for the iPhone incident. (26%, 78 Votes)
  • I do not trust the Berkeley police as much as I did before these two incidents were revealed. (25%, 76 Votes)
  • I trust the Berkeley police as much as I did before these two incidents were revealed. (23%, 68 Votes)
  • Both the iPhone and Doug Oakley incidents were lapses in judgment but otherwise the Chief is doing a good job. (17%, 52 Votes)
  • I am satisfied with Chief Meehan's explanation of the iPhone incident. (14%, 43 Votes)
  • There is a clear way for the Police Chief to move on from these incidents (please elaborate in the Comments). (5%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 301

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Related:
Berkeley police chief: “Not some kind of preferential treatment” [05.23.12]
Hunt for police chief’s son’s iPhone cost $740 in overtime [05.22.12]
Berkeley police chief sent 10 officers on hunt for son’s iPhone [05.21.12]
Berkeley will spend up to $50K after police chief blunder [05.18.12]
Berkeley City orders investigation into police chief [03.16.12]
Questions remain about Berkeley police chief’s actions [03.11.12]
At 12:45 am police chief demands reporter make changes [03.10.12]

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