The shooting of the Gourmet Ghetto mountain lion has provoked enormous debate here on Berkeleyside. It has also generated a wave of calls to the Berkeley Police Department.

According to Sergeant Mary Kusmiss, the BPD public information officer, many calls have expressed “gratitude and sadness”, but there has also been “outrage” and “many whys”.

There has also been “screaming abuse and name calling”, as well as “a whole myriad of other creative ideas and commentary”.

The problem for the police is that many of the calls have come in on their emergency number.

“The City of Berkeley Police Department is not unaccustomed to being scrutinized,” said Kusmiss. “We all serve and protect and must strive to gain the public’s trust. We would strongly request, however, that community members and others do not call 911 to share their feedback. This practice has created an impact on the BPD Communications Center and fellow community members who may be calling to report crime.”

The BPD’s non-emergency number is 510-981-5900.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...