Tag Archives: Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan
More than 100 people crowded into the Maudelle Shirek building in downtown Berkeley on Thursday morning to celebrate three promotions and recognize the retirement of a longtime officer from the Berkeley Police Department.
Opening these ceremonies to the public is a relatively new move by the department to give the community a chance to learn about how officers approach their work, said Police Chief Michael Meehan.
“It’s something I changed when I got hired,” said Meehan. “We’re proud of who we are and what we’re doing in this city, and we want people to know who their officers are.” … Continue reading »
Wednesday night, Berkeley residents crowded into a briefing room at the Berkeley Police Department for an annual meeting aimed to bring leaders in neighborhood crime prevention efforts together with local authorities.
The meeting, of the Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee, included Neighborhood Watch block captains and the Police Department representatives who work with them. The committee meets monthly to talk about and plan community safety efforts, and is open to block captains around the city. (Residents interested in joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch group can contact the Police Department’s Community Services Bureau at 510-981-5808. Learn more about local law enforcement contacts via this map.) … Continue reading »
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 »
By Lance Knobel and Emilie Raguso
Berkeley’s annual crime report shows a one-year increase of 11% in violent and property crimes in 2012. The uptick comes after four consecutive years of lowered crime, as measured by the Uniform Crime Reports’ so-called Part I crimes.
But Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan told the City Council, during a work session on the crime report Tuesday night, that it’s important to keep these numbers in perspective. [See the PDF presentation from the work session here.]
“The numbers are down quite a bit in the longer term,” he said, adding later that the city’s crime rate is “about as low as it’s been since the early 1960s.” Following increases in the ’80s and ’90s, crime rates have been on the decline overall. … Continue reading »
The family of Peter Cukor, killed by a mentally disturbed man outside his Berkeley hills home on February 18, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the city.
R. Lewis Van Blois, the Cukor family attorney, charged in the lawsuit that the city and police acted grossly negligently in their handling of Cukor murder. At the core of the case is the issue of how seriously police took Cukor’s call and how promptly officers responded.
“Peter Cukor had called the Berkeley Police Department on their emergency number for help to request a police officer be sent to their home right away because the intruder was attempting to get inside the Cukor home and was acting strangely,” Van Blois said in a press release. “The police dispatcher promised to get someone to their home soon and the Cukors relied on this representation. In fact, the Berkeley Police Dispatcher never intended nor requested a police officer to respond and when a police officer called to say he could respond to the call, he was told not to go. Soon thereafter, the intruder attacked Peter Cukor and fatally struck him on the head with a flower pot.” … Continue reading »
In a surprising twist, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to decline requests from U.S. immigration officials to apply more stringent detention rules to arrested individuals depending on citizenship status.
Advocates in attendance said the council made a landmark policy decision believed to be the most comprehensive and definitive in the nation as far as refusing altogether to cooperate with a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program to detain and potentially deport non-citizens who are arrested.
The decision will, at least initially, have a limited impact given that the vast majority of these individuals ultimately are turned over to county agencies that do cooperate with the feds. Advocates said they believe, however, that the decision will have a ripple effect throughout the state to convince other jurisdictions to take a similar stand. … Continue reading »
Last November, the Berkeley City Council approved a range of mutual aid agreements between the Berkeley Police Department and other agencies. But five of the proposed agreements — with the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC), the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), the UCPD, criminal intelligence, and jail operations — were held for consideration until February. Last night, revisions to the five agreements were considered both in a three-hour special work session of the Council and in a special Council meeting.
At the end, all five were passed to the city manager to draw up plans for implementing the agreements, which the Council will consider in September.
The lengthy path for the agreements stems from concerns by councilmembers, the Police Review Commission, and outspoken members of the public about the kinds of information being shared with other agencies, and whether sufficient safeguards were in place to protect civil liberties. … Continue reading »
In response to Berkeleyside’s May 29 article, “Poll: Police Chief’s reputation tarnished, not department,” in which we summarized the results of a reader poll about Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, Pastor Leslie R. White of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Berkeley has written an open letter of support for the chief. “Good people, who work hard, will make mistakes and sometimes apparent non-thinking acts. I hold that the Police Chief’s reputation is not tarnished, though this year, 2012, has proven he is … Continue reading »
It is not often that I write a public letter of support. I believe today it is necessary. Chief Meehan, is a hard working police chief. He has my support.
My predecessor was a part of the Selection Committee that interviewed and recommended the selection of our current Chief as the new police chief for Berkeley. I hold that the committee chose wisely with the future of our great city in mind.
Good people, who work hard, will make mistakes … Continue reading »
Recent actions by Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan have damaged his standing, but the department’s reputation has not been overly tarnished and there is not strong demand for Meehan to apologize. These are the main findings of our “Berkeley Police Chief” Reader Poll, which we launched on Friday and kept open over the Memorial Day weekend.
We had 301 respondents to the poll, which was designed to take the pulse of the community rather than be scientific. Many of you qualified your votes with comments.
Sixty percent of you felt the January incident in which Meehan sanctioned sending ten officers to Oakland to look for his teenage son’s stolen iPhone, and the March incident in which he sent an officer to a reporter’s home in the middle of the night to correct a story, had sullied the Chief’s reputation. Only 38% felt the department’s reputation had been damaged as a result, however. Although a number of readers called on the Chief to resign, many felt there was a clear distinction between the boss and the rank and file. “It is possible to be very proud of BPD and at the same time very embarrassed of Meehan,” wrote Berkeleyan in the comments. … Continue reading »
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. … Continue reading »
Embattled Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan said Wednesday that having 10 police officers search for his son’s stolen iPhone on January 11 was not “some kind of preferential treatment,” but is something the department “would do for anybody in the city.”
“This is being cast as some kind of preferential treatment, but it was not,” said Meehan in a telephone interview. “It is not unusual for us to respond to a live track of stolen property with the resources we have available. We have done it in other cases. In this case, my son was the victim of a crime at the high school. My personal phone was linked to his and was able to track it. I showed that to a detective-sergeant and said ‘what can we do with this?’ He said we can work cases like this. He took his team to track the signal and they weren’t able to find anybody.”
The reason so many officers investigated the theft so quickly was because it was a crime in progress, said Meehan. … Continue reading »
It cost the city of Berkeley about $740 in overtime pay to have 10 detectives search for Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan’s son’s missing iPhone.
Three detectives and a sergeant from the property crimes unit put in two hours of overtime each when they scoured a north Oakland neighborhood for the stolen phone on January 11, according to Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, the BPD’s public information officer. Detectives get paid $90.26 an hour in overtime pay and sergeants get $98.63 an hour. The figure does not include the regular pay for those investigating, which included members of the Drug Task Force. All together, Berkeley police officers spent about 10 hours collectively investigating this crime, said Kusmiss. … Continue reading »