We're getting breaking news via KTVU that Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan has resigned, and Captain Andrew Greenwood is now going to be serving as Acting Chief. Meehan, who came to Berkeley after serving as chief of police in Seattle, has held the position since 2009.
Reasons for the resignation are currently unclear, however Berkeleyside was reporting that there was some serious unrest among the rank and file in the Berkeley PD as of last month:
The criticisms focus on weak leadership, low morale, insufficient staffing and inconsistent communication. They were spelled out in surveys from 134 people, just over half the department, that included nearly 80 pages of written comments. Much of that focused on the chief.
“That direct feedback tells me that I am failing some members of this organization,” Meehan wrote in an Aug. 11 email to BPD employees. “That is unacceptable.”
It's kind of a stunning turn of events, however, given that the resignations of San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr in May and the subsequent resignation of Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent both occurred under highly dramatic circumstances the former related to a spate of officer-involved killings of unarmed civilians, the latter connected to a scandal that continues to unfold involving the trafficking of a teenage girl who was a sex worker, and had had sexual contact with multiple officers in the Oakland PD and elsewhere.
Berkeley officers have so far not been implicated in that wide-ranging scandal.
Berkeleyside noted, however, that Meehan has been implicated in a number of other incidents, and BPD officers have found that he's ineffective in advocating for what they want.
Meehan drew lots of flack in 2012 after he sent 10 of his officers to Oakland to find his son's stolen iPhone. Then two months later he sent a sergeant to a reporter's home allegedly to intimidate them into making changes to a news story. He was also heavily criticized that same year for some dispatching decisions during the murder of 67-year-old Peter Cukor in the Berkeley Hills [in 2012].
More on this resignation once we have an official statement from Meehan.