Available Berkeley police staffing is down to 135 officers, and 80% of the department is investigating whether to leave, a Berkeley Police Association rep said Monday night.
Violent crime reports in Berkeley rose 23% over the first half of 2017, as compared to the prior year, according to public safety data just released by the FBI.
Berkeley police staffing levels have reached a crisis point, and the entire traffic bureau along with some investigative positions may be on the chopping block in early 2018.
Described as a "homegrown leader" with a deep grasp of Berkeley values, "native son" Andrew Greenwood was appointed to the role of police chief Tuesday night.
In the wake of the abrupt departure Tuesday of Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, Acting Chief Andrew Greenwood says his short-term goals are to hire more officers and keep the department focused on the future.
More than six years after taking the helm of the Berkeley Police Department, Chief Michael Meehan is facing serious criticism from within his own ranks, according to two internal emails he sent to employees earlier this month and numerous interviews with BPD staffers.
A handful of community members got a preview Tuesday night of three possible alternatives for a new Berkeley Police beat map, which ultimately will determine how officers are deployed around the city. Bigger beats and the potential creation of a small “flex unit” to address hot spots or crime trends are among the ideas under consideration, which are still in draft form.
Three council members are holding meetings this week to collect public feedback about proposed police beat changes in Berkeley.
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.