Tag Archives: Michael Meehan
More than a year after the Berkeley City Council asked three city panels to take a look at the use of drones around town, two starkly different recommendations are slated to come before officials in a special work session later this month.
The city’s Disaster and Fire Safety Commission has made a recommendation to allow the police and fire departments to use drones “for specific enumerated purposes in emergency situations.” Usage would have to approved by the city manager, police chief or fire chief.
But two other city bodies, the Peace & Justice Commission and the Police Review Commission, have asked council to declare Berkeley a “no drone zone,” citing concerns related to safety and privacy, among other issues. … Continue reading »
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 »
Three shootings in Berkeley since last weekend have raised safety concerns around town, and police area coordinators have been using their email lists to ask for cooperation and assure residents that the incidents are under investigation.
Two shootings took place on Harmon Street in South Berkeley, on Saturday and Monday, and the third incident took place on Bonar Street in West Berkeley on Tuesday night. Two teenagers were shot in the second Harmon Street incident, but were said to have non-life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported, and there have been no arrests reported.
South Berkeley area coordinator officer Stephanie Polizziani told community members on her email list Thursday that Berkeley Police “detectives and patrol officers are working night and day following up on any leads that come their way to ensure the community’s safety.” … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Police Department is asking the public for input as it analyzes its current staffing resources and reconsiders how it deploys officers around the city.
This week, the city posted a survey online to collect feedback about what kind of services community members want, and what their priorities are.
The main question is not whether the city should hire more officers. But, rather, the city wants to know: Would community members prefer a larger beat that’s always staffed, or a smaller beat that sometimes has no assigned officer? That approach is, perhaps, understandable given the city’s current budget situation, and the fact that even a new officer hired on to the department makes over $100,000 a year once all is said and done. … Continue reading »
Pedestrian robberies, home burglaries, aggravated assaults and vehicle thefts rose in 2013 over the prior year, though the overall number of serious crimes fell, according to new data from the Berkeley Police Department that will be reported to the Berkeley City Council later this month.
Most of the increases were small, with the exception of robbery reports, which rose from 334 in 2012 to 409 in 2013. Auto thefts rose from 639 to 668.
A significant drop in larceny reports, from 4,102 to 3,664, brought the number of overall serious crime reports down from 6,209 in 2012 to 5,890 last year. … Continue reading »
Berkeley police used excessive force when attempting to arrest Kayla Moore and declined to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when she stopped breathing because they considered her transgender status as something objectionable, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday.
At least one Berkeley Police officer who responded to reports of a disturbance at Moore’s apartment at the Gaia Building on Allston Way on Feb. 13, 2013, referred to Moore as “it,” according to the lawsuit. … Continue reading »
One year after Kayla Moore died during a police investigation into a disturbance at her downtown Berkeley home, family members and supporters are still fighting for what they say are needed changes in how local authorities handle mental health crises throughout the city.
A rally and vigil for Moore are planned Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. at the Gaia Apartments, at 2116 Allston Way, where Moore had lived in the months preceding her death. That event will be followed at 7 p.m. by a “speakout” before the city’s Police Review Commission at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis St.
Next week, a two-day commission hearing on the circumstances surrounding Moore’s death is expected to conclude with a vote, or votes, related to what happened after police responded to Moore’s home just before midnight Feb. 12, 2013, when a friend of Moore’s, concerned about her mental and physical state, called police for help. Neither the hearing nor its outcome is open to the public because it’s considered a personnel matter, which is protected by confidentiality laws. … Continue reading »
A town hall meeting organized by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) on Sunday, Dec. 8 in Berkeley examined progress on proposals intended to address a range of issues concerning Berkeley’s African-Americans, low-income families and other marginalized communities.
The three most vigorous discussions at the meeting concerned housing, the police and employment. Attendees also expressed concerns about Berkeley’s shrinking black population.
Berkeley police chief Michael Meehan, deputy city manager William Rogers, and Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA) executive director Tia Ingram were among the officials who spoke on Sunday — and weathered a barrage of comment and criticism from questioners. In addition, councilmembers Max Anderson, Daryl Moore and Kriss Worthington attended, as did city manager Christine Daniel. … Continue reading »
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 »