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ELECTION 2022: What you need to know | WILDFIRES: Prepare | OMICRON: Get a booster | IDEA MAKERS: Our new event series

Posted inCrime & Safety

BPD to hire officers, ‘take a collective deep breath’ under new chief

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. “Calm, steady, forward movement is the way to go,” Greenwood told the city’s Police Review Commission on Wednesday night. “That’s kind of where I’m at.” Greenwood […]

Posted inCrime & Safety

Berkeley police chief resigns; no reason provided

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan has resigned following reports surfaced by Berkeleyside last month of turmoil within the department and extensive criticism by officers of the chief. Meehan resigned after nearly seven years, and Capt. Andrew Greenwood will now take the helm of the department as acting chief, according to a memo from the city manager to the Berkeley […]

Posted inCrime & Safety

Officers question leadership of Berkeley police chief

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. The criticisms focus on weak leadership, low morale, insufficient staffing and inconsistent communication. They were spelled out in surveys […]

Posted inCommunity

Outpouring of concern for Berkeley ‘Toys for Tots’ brings in $8,400 in donations — so far

Update, Dec. 18: The Berkeley Police Association has closed its fundraising campaign because it more than exceeded its goals. The drive for Toys for Tots garnered $11,114 from 193 people in one day. Original story, Dec. 17: Less than 14 hours after the Berkeley Police Association set up a fundraising campaign to raise money for a donation […]

Posted inCommunity

Berkeley ‘Toys for Tots’ needs community help after donations fall through

Update 12/18: The Berkeley Police Association has closed its fundraising campaign because it more than exceeded its goals. The drive for Toys for Tots garnered $11,114 from 193 people in one day. Update, 8:15 p.m. The Berkeley Police Association has set up a GoFundMe account to collect online donations for the Toys for Tots program. Original […]

Posted inCity, Crime & Safety

‘Unconstitutional police attacks’ in December Berkeley protests spur civil rights lawsuit

Eleven demonstrators and journalists have filed a civil rights complaint against the city of Berkeley, the city of Hayward, former Berkeley City Manager Christine Daniel, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, and 13 other named police officers in federal court seeking changes in how Berkeley polices demonstrations and damages for what they term “unconstitutional police attacks” during […]

Posted inCity, Community, Crime, Crime & Safety

Berkeley police chief says Tasers would help his officers

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan told the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night he believes his officers should be granted the option to carry Tasers, which are not currently allowed under city policy. It was the first time Meehan has taken a stand on the issue in a high-profile public forum, though he said he had made similar comments in the past in […]

Posted inCity, Crime & Safety, Housing & Development

Capitelli says he didn’t get commission from house sale for Meehan, but will donate fee he was paid

Berkeley City Councilman Laurie Capitelli said Monday that he never served as the real estate agent for Police Chief Michael Meehan’s home purchase and never split a nearly $30,000 commission for the deal, contrary to what was reported Friday by the Bay Area News Group. When Meehan went looking to buy a home in Berkeley in 2010 — […]

Posted inCity

Berkeley councilman Laurie Capitelli profited from $500,000 housing loan given to police chief, paper says

Update, Oct. 5: Councilman Laurie Capitelli issued a statement Monday to clarify his role in the purchase of a home by Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan in 2010 following a City Council vote the prior year to loan the chief money toward the purchase. Capitelli told Berkeleyside he never served as the real estate agent for the home purchase […]