Tag Archives: Michael Meehan
The family of Peter Cukor, who was allegedly killed by a mentally disturbed man in February 2012 while he waited for police to come to his house, has dropped its lawsuit against Berkeley in exchange for promises to change the questions dispatchers ask those calling during an emergency.
Berkeley has not admitted any fault in connection with the tragedy, said R. Lewis Van Blois, who represents Cukor’s widow, Andrea, and her adult sons Alexander and Christopher.
“The changes will result in better communication between the Communication Center and the emergency caller regarding police response to calls,” said Van Blois. … Continue reading »
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 »
Scientist Steven Visco and developer Patrick Kennedy received the inaugural Visionary Awards from the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on Monday night in a casual ceremony at the startup accelerator Skydeck in downtown Berkeley.
Chamber CEO Polly Armstrong said the awards were designed for “those individuals with both the imagination and persistence to innovate in the City of Berkeley. Our town has a long history of activism and is proud of its heritage. However, our colorful history has also fostered a cautious if not skeptical view of change and the role that local businesses play in the economic health of the city.” … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Police Department’s mid-year crime report drew compliments from city officials regarding the city’s approach to crime fighting, as well as requests for more information in the future about case closure rates, crime concentrations and response times across a range of offenses.
Police Chief Michael Meehan presented the report along with two police captains, Erik Upson and Andy Greenwood, Tuesday night in a special session before the city council. They said serious crime reports for the first six months of the year remained nearly flat compared to the same period last year.
Berkeley did experience a 24% jump in robberies overall, which included a 35% increase in pedestrian robberies. But police said the region has seen a 26% percent in overall robberies, and that Berkeley is not immune to those trends. Police also noted a 49% increase in robbery-related arrests in 2013. … Continue reading »
Police saw steep increases in burglaries and pedestrian robberies in the first half of 2013, according to the mid-year crime report produced by the Berkeley Police Department, though serious crime reports overall were essentially flat when compared to last year.
The mid-year crime report is scheduled to come before the Berkeley City Council in a special session at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the council chambers at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Police said pedestrian robberies are up 35% over the same period last year. Burglaries are up 11%. But overall serious crimes — which include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson — increased just 0.4%, from 2,927 to 2,940. … Continue reading »
The protesters at the downtown Berkeley Post Office who had been camping on site to fight the proposed sale of the building have left the area, but the official account from police has been disputed by some involved activists.
A statement posted on the Berkeley Post Office Defense website said its encampment was “raided” at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday “by a combination of Postal Police and Berkeley PD (directly subverting the will of the citizens of Berkeley).” According to the statement, a rally was planned for the morning, and a general assembly meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m.
More than 50 Berkeley neighborhood and business groups came out Tuesday night to meet, mingle, eat together and get to know each other during the 30th annual National Night Out celebration. The festivities included visits from police and fire department staffers, as well as local officials and other municipal representatives. Berkeleyside reporter Emilie Raguso rode along with Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan and Capt. Andy Greenwood as they visited some of the parties around town. See photographs from the event, including several submitted by Berkeleyside readers, below.
The men and women will stand in front of a statue commemorating Sgt. Jimmie H. Rutledge, who was slain June 16, 1973, at 5:23 a.m. by a man who went on to murder a 4-year-old girl he had taken hostage.
The brief, informal ceremony will mark the 40th anniversary of Rutledge’s death. “We’ll say a few words,” said Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan. “We’ll do a salute. It’s our way of acknowledging that even though it’s been four decades, he sacrificed himself for the city and we don’t want to forget that.”
Two Berkeley police officers have been killed in the line of duty. The first was Ronald Tsukamoto, who was slain on Aug. 20, 1970. Tsukamoto had stopped a motorist on University Avenue, near McGee Avenue. While talking to the driver, another man approached the car and fired at Tsukamoto, killing him. The assailant has never been arrested, although police believe they know who he is. To honor Tsukamoto, the city named the police and fire public safety building on Martin Luther King Jr. Way after him. … Continue reading »
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 »
In its 30 years of operation, the Berkeley Public Education Foundation has raised more than $12 million and channeled more than 750,000 volunteer hours straight into Berkeley’s public schools, directly supporting the district’s 550 teachers. On Friday last week, in a single luncheon, it raised another $210,000, honored a select group of educators and administrators, along with a former Berkeley High student, and also marked two significant changes to its organization.
New leadership is in place with the recent appointment of Erin Rhoades as the fund’s executive director. Rhoades, formerly a principal planner for Urban Planning Partners and the executive director of Livable Berkeley, replaced Molly Fraker on April 8.
[View a gallery of photographs of the Schools Fund Spring Luncheon by Emilie Raguso.] … 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 »
The Berkeley Police Department has confirmed that an arrest has been made following the fatal shooting of Zontee Jones on Feb. 4.
Details, however, were scant. Police declined to provide information about the arrest, such as the identity of the person who was arrested, or what the arrest was for.
“I can’t release anything other than (that) an arrest was made,” said officer Stephanie Polizziani, a police spokeswoman, via email. “To maintain the integrity of their investigation, I can’t release any other details at this point.” … Continue reading »