The Berkeley Police Special Response Team on Acton Street south of Ward Street on Friday. Credit: Tom Price

Berkeley police detectives, with the help of the agency’s Special Response Team, made an arrest on Acton Street on Friday morning in connection with a local gun violence case, authorities report.

Questions about police activity? Ask Berkeleyside

Police said they could not share details of the arrest, but confirmed that the department made a “high-risk” arrest Friday in an operation that began at 5:20 a.m. At 7:15 a.m., police used a loudspeaker at the scene to call for the suspect to come outside and then made the arrest without incident. BPD said no further information could be released as of publication time.

In a Nixle alert posted after publication, police said the “high-risk search and arrest warrant” in the 2700 block of Acton “related to gun violence in Berkeley.”

Berkeley has had 19 confirmed gunfire calls in 2021. Last year at this time, there had been 12. City officials have held two large community meetings since April to address the spike in violence and assure local residents that they are taking the increase seriously.

On Friday, community members asked Berkeleyside to find out “What was happening this morning on Acton Street, between Oregon and Ward? Lots of police, some in camo fatigues, with an aid car and fire truck.” A police officer described it to one local resident as “an ongoing investigation” and said nothing more could be said.

The Berkeley Police Special Response Team on Acton Street south of Ward Street on Friday. Credit: Tom Price

Police sent out a Nixle alert just after 1:20 p.m. that provided slightly more information.

“Our Detectives Bureau spent numerous hours on this investigation and knew the suspect was potentially armed and dangerous,” BPD said in the Nixle alert. “Due to the suspect potentially being armed members of the Special Response Team were tasked with carrying out the warrant. SRT formed a perimeter around the suspect’s residence and used trained negotiators to speak with the suspect via phone.”

After the arrest, detectives searched the Acton Street home “for further evidence pertaining to the search warrant,” according to the Nixle.

BPD said it would share more information about the arrest “at a later date” once the gun violence investigation has concluded.

The Special Response Team (SRT), what other agencies call SWAT, handles high-risk situations such as armed subjects and receives “specialized training in tactical and medical skills to maximize safety for residents, officers and suspects,” the department has said previously.

The team was created in 1976; a former team leader was the first officer in the state of California to develop certified de-escalation training.

Officers on the SRT wear a tan-colored camouflage uniform, which was selected after research identified it as the one that is the safest to use in urban environments, BPD has said.

Because operations may involve the possibility of armed individuals, SRT operations often use a white armored panel van to provide cover for responding officers. The van was parked on Acton Street on Friday morning during the police response.

Note: This story was updated after publication to include details from the Nixle alert.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...