Tag Archives: Berkeley Police Association

Councilmen: Time is now to discuss Tasers in Berkeley

Councilman Laurie Capitelli. March 5, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Three Berkeley City Council members are bringing the issue of Taser use by local police to the forefront with a proposed council agenda item currently set for consideration in early May.

Councilman Laurie Capitelli has drafted an item to request a report from the city manager about the possible use of Tasers by police in Berkeley, along with consideration of the idea by the city’s Police Review Commission.

Capitelli said it was last week’s violent attack on a Berkeley Police officer at Aquatic Park that brought about the current proposal. A man has been charged with attempted murder in that case. … Continue reading »

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Police call for Tasers after attempted killing of officer

The Berkeley Police Association, the union for the rank and file, has been making the case for officers to have Tasers. Photo: Creative Commons
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The president of the Berkeley Police Association is asking city officials to consider the use of Tasers by Berkeley officers after a violent attack on an officer Monday.

The police association, the union for the rank and file, has been asking publicly for Tasers since at least last year. According to association president Sgt. Chris Stines, 95% of California’s law enforcement agencies use Tasers, but Berkeley is not among them.

Last fall, after a man tried to stab himself to death in Berkeley, Stines said officers with Tasers would have been able to resolve that situation with less injury. Since then, Stines said this week, there have been at least four other incidents, including Monday’s attack, in which Tasers would have made a difference. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Police team wins local Urban Shield contest

Berkeley Police Urban Shield 2013 Winners. Photo:  Berkeley Police Association
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A team of Berkeley Police officers took first place at a recent Bay Area competition to gauge their preparedness in a 48-hour series of grueling emergency response drills, authorities said this week.

The fifth annual Bay Area Urban Shield event, which is organized by the Alameda County sheriff’s department, took place Oct. 25-28 in locations around the region.

The federally-funded program is managed by the National Incident Management System and the Standard Emergency Management System, according to organizers. The program was created to train first responders in how to handle disaster scenarios in the communities they serve. Police and fire first responders in many cities, such as San Francisco, Austin and Dallas, along with international teams from Brazil, Israel, France and other countries, have participated.

Sgt. Christian Stines, president of the Berkeley Police Association, said Berkeley’s team of participants this year bested 34 other SWAT and emergency responder teams from around the globe to score highest in this year’s contest. … Continue reading »

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City leaders weigh in on idea of Tasers in Berkeley

The Berkeley Police Association, the union for the rank and file, has been making the case for officers to have Tasers. Photo: Creative Commons
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Last week the Berkeley Police Assocation put out a public demand for Tasers for local officers, and Berkeleyside followed up with several questions to city leaders about the issue.

Several leaders declined to comment. Others didn’t respond at all. Most of those who did reply said more research would be needed, and an in-depth conversation would need to take place before any action could be considered.

The association said Berkeley is one of just three Bay Area law enforcement agencies — out of 113 — that isn’t already armed with Tasers or considering their use.

The group said a recent suicide attempt could have been avoided if Berkeley police had Tasers, and also cited a recent officer injury that may well have been avoided too. Not having the tool decreases officer and public safety, said the association, and ends up costing the city money in worker’s comp claims and associated costs. … Continue reading »

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After suicide attempt, police union says Tasers needed

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The Berkeley Police Association says Tasers could have helped prevent the near-death of a man who stabbed himself repeatedly last week in Berkeley, according to a statement released Wednesday morning by the organization’s president.

Last week, Berkeley officers responded to a home where a man was threatening to slit his throat with a knife. When officers arrived, the man had at least two knives and was saying he wanted to kill himself.

According to the statement, police made “every attempt” to negotiate with the man “to calm him down and get him to release the knives,” but the attempts were unsuccessful. “The man stabbed himself repeatedly causing massive trauma, and life threatening injuries. Police officers on the scene applied battlefield medicine techniques to stop the bleeding, ultimately saving the community member’s life.”

Had Berkeley officers had Tasers, the man could have been disarmed and taken to receive care, argued the association. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police union makes the case for Tasers

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The Berkeley Police Association (BPA) today released the results of an email survey which it says show residents supporting the investigation of the use of Tasers in Berkeley.

“We want Tasers now,” said Sgt. Emily Murphy, a board member of the BPA, which represents 168 Berkeley officers. “Tasers save lives and reduce injuries caused by physical force or firearm use.”

The Berkeley Police Department is one of only eight law enforcement agencies out of 113 in the Bay Area that does not allow Tasers. Five of the others are currently investigating adopting the equipment (including UC Police Department). … Continue reading »

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Police union: Should Berkeley have Tasers?

The Berkeley Police Association, the union for the rank and file, has sent out a survey asking residents' opinion on tasers. Photo: Creative Commons
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The Berkeley Police Officers Association has sent out a survey to 19,000 Berkeley residents asking them their opinion on police use of Tasers.

The BPA posed seven questions in a March 27 email survey to see whether the community considers Tasers as way to assist police and protect suspects, or the opposite.

“This is a very initial step to find out what the community sense is … and go from there,” said Sgt. Chris Stines, the president of the BPA, which represents more than 150 rank-and-file officers. … Continue reading »

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Police contract agreed after 15 months of negotiations

New Berkeley Police Department three-year contract comes after 15 months of talks. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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After lengthy negotiations, the City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Police Association (BPA) have reached agreement on a new three-year contract that forgoes cost of living increases, creates a second tier CalPERS pension formula for new employees, mandates cost sharing by employees in the employer’s contribution to CalPERS, and significantly changes retiree health benefits.

The new agreement was approved by the BPA at a July meeting by 107-21. It will be considered by the City Council at its September 11 meeting.

“I think it’s a fair agreement,” said Tim Kaplan, president of the BPA. “It was a long process, but it really was the true sense of collective bargaining. There was a lot of work done by the Police Association negotiating team to come up with creative solutions to the problems the city was facing. The state of the economy is not lost on our members at all. We’re helping in a number of ways through concessions.”  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police officers honored for distinguished service

Officer Darrin Refferty pins a distinguished service medal on Officer Susan Lee at the Berkeley Police Association Awards ceremony on May 3, 21012. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The Berkeley Police Association honored seven Berkeley police officers for their outstanding service to the community in an awards ceremony on May 3 at Freight & Salvage.

The officers were honored for a variety of actions, including chasing down and apprehending a murder suspect, providing life-saving CPR and other medical treatment, and spearheading a program to help police officers deal with stress from the difficult demands of the job.

“We honor today those officers whose extraordinary work and heroic actions distinguish them from an already outstanding group of officers,” Said Officer Darrin Rafferty, the secretary of the Berkeley Police Association.

The awards ceremony started 30 years ago, he said. The last time awards were handed out was in 2007. … Continue reading »

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Questions remain about Berkeley police chief’s actions

Chief Michael Meehan, and Officer Byron White at community meeting on Cukor incident. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Update 2:10 pm: Statement from Berkeley Police Association added below.

A contrite Berkeley police chief spent Saturday afternoon fielding calls from the media to explain why he ordered a sergeant to go the house of a reporter at 12:45 a.m. on Friday to ask for changes in an article the chief thought was inaccurate.

Chief Michael Meehan profusely apologized for his actions, but declined to provide specifics about the incident.

“I was in the wrong,” Chief Meehan said. “It could have, and should have waited until the morning. It was a significant error of judgment on my part.”

To regain the trust of the press, Chief Meehan will order “an independent review of the Department’s policies and practices regarding release of information to the media,” he said in a statement. He wants the Berkeley Police Department to look at the best media policies of other police departments around the country and adopt them. … Continue reading »

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