Tag Archives: Berkeley Police Association
Update, Dec. 18: The Berkeley Police Association has closed its fundraising campaign because it more than exceeded its goals. The drive for Toys for Tots garnered $11,114 from 193 people in one day.
Original story, Dec. 17: Less than 14 hours after the Berkeley Police Association set up a fundraising campaign to raise money for a donation shortfall faced by the Toys for Tots program, about 150 people had donated $8,400.
And several children’s toy and game stores had stepped in and offered to help. Stephanie Sala, the founder of Five Little Monkeys on Solano Avenue in Albany, has offered to donate $1,000 worth of toys. Devin McDonald, one of the owners of Mr. Mopp’s toy shop at 1405 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, has offered a 15% discount for people buying toys for the program, which is overseen by the Berkeley Police Department. And Games of Berkeley, 2151 Shattuck Ave., will give a 15% discount Thursday and Friday to anyone purchasing toys for the drive. The game shop also plans to ship a delivery of toys to the drive itself.
“I received toys from TFT as a kid so it’s only fitting I give back,” Ralph Colby wrote on the Go Fund Me page after he made a donation.
One donor even contributed $1,000 to the fund. … Continue reading »
Update 12/18: The Berkeley Police Association has closed its fundraising campaign because it more than exceeded its goals. The drive for Toys for Tots garnered $11,114 from 193 people in one day.
Update, 8:15 p.m. The Berkeley Police Association has set up a GoFundMe account to collect online donations for the Toys for Tots program.
Original post, 3:59 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department is asking for help after expected holiday toy donations for hundreds of Berkeley families fell through today.
Police Chief Michael Meehan said 300 Berkeley families — many of whom have more than one child — have signed up for the popular program, and will be at the station Saturday morning to pick up their toys.
But an expected and longstanding donation of thousands of toys from the U.S. Marine Corps will not be available, the police department learned Wednesday. In the past, the program — a collaboration between the Berkeley Police and Fire departments and the Marine Corps — has given away approximately 3,000 toys to families each year.
Meehan said the Marine Corps will only be able to provide 200 stuffed animals this year, which won’t be enough to meet the need. In the past, families received an entire bag full of toys thanks to generous support from the Marine Corps and community contributions. … Continue reading »
I recently received a very unsettling fundraising letter from the Berkeley Police Association (BPA). The second paragraph, with my italics, reads: “Today as I ask for your continued support of our community mission, we are mindful of the unprecedented wave of violence against our fellow officers in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York and especially the execution murder of a Texas Sheriff’s deputy…”
I am very upset that the strategy used in this letter is to note only the tragic deaths of law enforcement officers while carefully … Continue reading »
Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan told the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night he believes his officers should be granted the option to carry Tasers, which are not currently allowed under city policy.
It was the first time Meehan has taken a stand on the issue in a high-profile public forum, though he said he had made similar comments in the past in smaller community meetings.
More than a dozen community members told council that Tasers should not be used in Berkeley, and shared stories from around the country about what they believed were inappropriate uses of the tool by law enforcement officers in other jurisdictions.
Tuesday evening, council received a report from researchers at the Stanford Criminal Justice Center who spent six months earlier this year looking into the issue on a pro bono basis. The researchers said, after reviewing more than 100 studies, that there are still too many unanswered questions about how Tasers are used, and that Berkeley should be cautious when considering whether to equip the local police force with them.
Berkeley is among about 2,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, out of an estimated 18,000, that do not carry the tool.
Meehan told council that he knows the issue is a controversial one, but made his position on Tasers, also known as electronic control weapons or ECWs, clear.
Read past Berkeleyside coverage related to Tasers.
“The combined body of evidence and decades-long experience leads me to believe that the availability of ECWs is in the best interests of our employees, and our community,” he said. “I would not say this if I did not think it was in the best interests of both.” … Continue reading »
The Berkeley City Council is set to discuss a report Tuesday evening focused on the use of Tasers by law enforcement officers, and whether that might one day be appropriate in Berkeley.
Council asked the city manager to look into the issue last year, which resulted in a pro bono agreement with the Stanford Criminal Justice Center to study it. Two Stanford authors began work on their analysis in January, and completed their report in June.
According to the staff report prepared for Tuesday’s meeting, council asked for more information about “the history, potential benefits, impacts, and possible unintended consequences of allowing Berkeley police to carry and use Tasers, and to include in the report information regarding other jurisdictions ‘best practices’ and protocols, an analysis of changes in technologies, and the feasibility of doing a pilot program.” Council also asked to hear from the Police Review and Community Health commissions.
As far as possible future action, there’s no specific recommendation in the staff report, which notes that council will determine what happens next. … Continue reading »
This is an open letter to Chris Stines, President of the Berkeley Police Association, in response to his op-ed, “It should be possible to give police the tools they need while preserving Berkeley’s values,” published on Aug. 31, 2015, by Berkeleyside.
Dear Officer Stines,
Please forgive the people of Berkeley for our lack of enthusiasm about Berkeley Police getting more “tools” with which to beat and “crowd control” us. Don’t take it personally. For many of us, the memories of BPD’s militarized response to … Continue reading »
The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to temporarily suspend tear gas use by police as a way to control non-violent crowds.
The vote also suspended the use of other chemical agents, rubber bullets and other projectiles, and over-the-shoulder baton strikes as crowd control methods used by Berkeley officers during non-violent protests. The temporary policy will remain in place until an investigation by the city’s Police Review Commission into protests in Berkeley last December is complete.
Read more Berkeley protests coverage on Berkeleyside.
The item, put forward by Councilman Jesse Arreguín, was part of package of protest-related decisions council made Tuesday night. Council also voted to support the Police Review Commission’s investigation, as well as demands by the national group “Ferguson Action” regarding efforts to curtail unfair treatment by police of people of color.
Dozens of people, including many local students, marched through the city before the council meeting, and flooded into council chambers to testify about the need for police accountability, and about why they felt action is needed. … Continue reading »
With a police-escorted motorcade fit for a foreign ambassador or an A-list Hollywood star, viral internet star Grumpy Cat rolled into Berkeley in style Saturday afternoon.
Hundreds of fans waited outside Berkeley Humane at 2700 9th St. to catch a glimpse of Grumpy Cat, who has a permanent scowl on her face and millions of fans on social media. Tucked in the arms of her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, Grumpy Cat oversaw the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Berkeley Humane’s new mobile adoption center.
Following the ceremony, Grumpy Cat held a private photo session with her fans. Tickets for an up close and personal were reserved long before Saturday. The opportunity to take a photo of Grumpy Cat — or with, for the lucky fans who registered for the photo session in time — drew residents from beyond the Bay Area. … Continue reading »
Arguably the most famous cat on the internet, Grumpy Cat will be present for Berkeley Humane‘s ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new mobile animal adoption center at 2700 Ninth St. at noon. After the ceremony, Grumpy Cat will have a private photo session with her fans at 1 p.m. The event has already sold out.
After Grumpy Cat challenged her fans with a #GrumpyTownUSA contest following the launch of her second book “The Grumpy Guide to Life” (both books are New York Times bestsellers), Berkeley Humane led a campaign with support from Mayor Tom Bates, the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce and the Berkeley Police Association to bring Grumpy Cat to Berkeley. … Continue reading »
After a two-year hiatus, the Berkeley Police Association has brought back its holiday “turkey basket” program for families in need.
The association is holding an art show Wednesday night, Nov. 19, to raise money for that program by selling photographs by three Berkeley Police officers. The charity event takes place at the recently opened Berkeley Underground nightclub in downtown Berkeley, at 2284 Shattuck Ave.
Officer Stephanie Polizziani, who helped organize the event, said the department used to raise money for turkey baskets — containing a turkey and fixings for sides and dessert — until two years ago when the program lapsed due to a lack of funding.
Polizziani said she was inspired to organize the renewed effort after the department received numerous inquiries over the past two years from people who had come to rely on the program. … Continue reading »
As the city of Berkeley ramps up efforts to study whether its police force should carry Tasers, a local coalition has planned a forum Thursday night to collect community feedback on the issue.
The Berkeley City Council voted 6-3 in May to have the city study the thorny question. Council members Max Anderson, Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguín voted against the proposal from council members Laurie Capitelli, Gordon Wozniak and Darryl Moore to get a report from the city manager about Tasers, and have the city’s Police Review Commission consider the subject as well.
Many Berkeley Police officers attended the meeting in May and spoke about the need to carry Tasers, which they say would make officers and those who come into contact with them safer, and also save the city money in the long run. Officers have said data show that departments with Tasers have seen fewer “use of force” complaints, fewer injuries to officers and suspects, and reduced costs associated with on-the-job injuries.
Community members who do not believe police should carry Tasers also shared their concerns: that police have enough weapons, that Berkeley doesn’t have enough crime to justify adding another one, and that there are too many risks associated with Taser shocks. They cited the possibility of pre-existing medical conditions that could increase health risks, as well as concerns about the disproportionate use of Tasers on minorities, the poor and people in mental health crisis.
The city of Berkeley will explore whether a database of private security cameras might help police solve crime more efficiently after a Berkeley City Council majority vote Tuesday night.
Under the proposal, citizens could report camera locations to the Berkeley Police Department. Police would create a registry, which would allow officers to call camera owners quickly should a crime take place. Citizens would not be required to talk to police, and officers would not have instant access to the footage.
Council members Gordon Wozniak and Susan Wengraf, who asked in their proposal for the city manager to study the issue, said it is clear to anyone reading the weekly crime round-up on this website exactly how much crime takes place in Berkeley and where it happens. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Police officers rescued two people from the fire that erupted under the University Avenue Interstate 80 overpass Wednesday. The quick actions of three officers who were first on the scene may have saved the lives of two men trapped in the burning storage enclosure, according to the Berkeley Police Association.
At around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver “noticed the fire” and called for emergency back-up, the association reported. His calls for help were immediately answered by two Berkeley Police Special Victims Unit detectives who were conducting an interview nearby.
They went to the scene of the fire that was raging in a Caltrans storage area containing around 100 Ecology Center recycling cans leased by the city of Berkeley, according to authorities.
“I could hear a man screaming and he was locked inside a chain link fence where the fire was roaring out of control,” said Detective Melissa Kelly, one of the officers who hurried to the scene, assisted by Detective Ana Baber. “We couldn’t get the gate open and had to reach under the fence to rescue the man and get him away from the burning fire.” … Continue reading »