Berkeley police at the scene of a traffic collision in April 2020. Photo: Pete Rosos

After more than four hours of public comment that began late Tuesday night, Berkeley officials voted early Wednesday morning to change what policing looks like in the city in the months and years to come.

The 3 a.m. vote in favor of an “omnibus motion” on police reforms from Mayor Jesse Arreguín won support from the entire City Council except for Cheryl Davila, who abstained.

“It’s not what the people want,” Davila said. About 100 people spoke during public comment for the meeting and the vast majority of them told council to support a Davila proposal to reduce the police budget by at least 50%. Davila said officials also got 700 emails in support of her item.

The Arreguín item blended five proposals from different council members designed to reshape local policing. They ranged from creating a new Department of Transportation (“BerkDOT”); launching a comprehensive audit of police calls; and creating a robust community process around a variety of public safety reforms.

Under the mayor’s revised item, the city will now move forward with Councilmember Rigel Robinson’s proposal to create BerkDOT “to ensure a racial justice lens in traffic enforcement” and find ways to eliminate or reduce “pretextual stops based on minor traffic violations.”

The city will also now work to develop a pilot program to “re-assign non-criminal police service calls” to a new Specialized Care Unit staffed by a “network of crisis responders.” The city auditor’s office will also take a deep dive into police calls and traffic stops. Those items came from Councilmember Ben Bartlett’s proposal for what he called the George Floyd Community Safety Act.

The mayor’s item also sets in motion a “public safety reimagining process” that will feature “transparent community forums to listen, learn and receive people’s ideas about how policing should be re-imagined and transformed so that communities of color can be safer within their neighborhoods, the City of Berkeley, and trust in the Berkeley Police Department can begin to be rebuilt.”

Narrowing the police focus

As part of the public process, the city will look at what duties might eventually be shifted away from police so officers can focus on “violent and criminal matters” rather than calls about people in mental health crises or living in homeless camps.

That public process will also include, as per Davila’s proposal, consideration of “the goal of reducing the Berkeley Police Department budget by 50%, to be based on the results of requested studies and analysis and achieved through programs such as the Specialized Care Unit.”

Also in line with the Davila item, the city will look at ways to reduce the police budget so more money can be spent on youth and restorative justice programs, housing and homeless services, and mental health services, among other community needs.

During public comment, many community members said the mayor’s item did not go far enough fast enough. One described it as a “pathetic attempt to placate the will of the people at the 11th hour.”

In his remarks, Bartlett tried to allay some of those concerns, saying he saw the omnibus motion as something that would be both sustainable and groundbreaking while creating a model the rest of the country could follow.

“I hate bureaucracy and I hate everything slow,” he said. “These items are meant to go up at the same time as a system.”

As far as the new transportation department, Robinson said he hoped it could change the relationship the public has to policing. He said reform must, however, be done in a way that doesn’t put city employees or first responders in danger. Details will be worked out in the upcoming public safety process.

“I’m committed to digging into this process until we hit gold or until we hit bedrock,” he said.

A desire, from many, for change

Next to the Davila proposal to defund BPD by 50%, the BerkDOT item saw the most praise from community members during public comment.

Traffic enforcement is “a tool of broken policing to just do investigations on disproportionately Black and brown drivers and it endangers everyone,” local resident Darrell Owens told city officials. “The status quo has not kept the public safe: Remove it away from the police into a department focused around equity.”

Throughout the night, the vast majority of public commenters said police should be defunded or abolished, that policing is based on white supremacy and protects only the monied interests, and that police do not make the community safer.

“Defund the police 100% immediately and start by firing the police chief,” said a woman with the Zoom name Isis Feral. She said police are “armed thugs in uniform” who criminalize and brutalize Black and brown people and take away their freedom. They are “the boot boys of the ruling class,” she said.

But a few people also wrote or called to say they have appreciated the longstanding record of restraint and professionalism from the Berkeley Police Department and its chief. Others noted that bias is present in all aspects of society.

“We shouldn’t give up on our police,” said a speaker with the Zoom name Jovi Tseng, “because most of their biases are also our own.” Tseng said that, while “we can definitely have better police… they’re not fundamentally evil.”

Gratitude and praise for Davila

During public comment, speaker after speaker expressed their gratitude for Councilmember Davila. They said she represented the community’s views and called on her colleagues to support her more.

Many said they had been disgusted, earlier in the night, when no other council member supported a late item from Davila to censure the police chief for comments he made in June. As a result, the item could not be considered for Tuesday’s agenda.

The mayor explained to the public that Davila’s item had not met the narrow legal standard for late items, which require both the need for immediate action and that the issue arose after the meeting agenda was posted.

Davila pledged to bring back her item calling for a no-confidence vote in the police chief through the regular council agenda process. She thanked the many community members who made their voices heard Tuesday night and into the early hours Wednesday.

“This is the latest we’ve ever had a council meeting and there’s still 141 people on the line,” Davila said toward the end of the meeting. “Put your fists up high and stand for Black Lives Matter.”

Emilie Raguso

Emilie Raguso (senior editor, news) joined the Berkeleyside team in 2012. She covers politics, public safety and development. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...

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379 Comments

  1. Mass murderer Randy Kraft, arrested on traffic stop. Domestic terrorist and murderer Timothy McVeigh, arrested on traffic stop…. I could go on and on….

  2. My timeline was a bit off. It was at the end of May.

    https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2020/05/29/pedestrian-killed-on-interstate-80-in-berkeley/

    COB claims to care about the inhabitants of the drug camp there, but if they did they would know an addict will never stop unless confronted with rock-bottom scenarios. Just let them slowly kill themselves seems to be the official position. Ask any addiction specialist why people finally decide to get off the horror-filled carousel of drug use. It surely isn’t being enabled over and over again.

  3. There was also a recent attack and armed robbery by three suspects in Elmwood this past week (Regent St. at Stuart St.)

  4. What if we reduced arrests by making crime harder to commit? Make property more secure, and there will be fewer arrests, right?

  5. How About Marxist stronghold? Two of the BLM leaders claim Marxism as their political choice so I’m sure their followers are following in their footsteps like sheep.

  6. No mention on BerkeleySide. Or the transient who got run over and killed a few weeks ago by the University and 80 dump.

  7. I’ll pull over for law enforcement. Non-law enforcement city workers should be ignored. If you really want mess with them if one tries it, call 911 to report someone impersonating an officer.

  8. Zero probability of a stop ending badly if you sit in your car, don’t fight with the cop, don’t steal their taser, don’t attack them, act contrite, etc. dead zero for anyone of any race.

  9. Well, we have Cheryl Davila. Yes, she’s insane, but

    1) she drew out the fringe element and lacked the CC meeting for 9 hours and

    2) her craziness moves fhe edge of the fringe so that the Mayor’s ideas seem reasonable in comparison, when they aren’t reasonable at all.

  10. People with guns being stopped by people with guns of course might have a bad outcome for the “drivers”

  11. BPD is very good at dealing with mentally ill people
    Is this why they tolerate the city council so well?

  12. Berkeley Mayor and council are some of the most dumb people I have ever encountered. It’s literally unbelievable these people even exist on this planet.

  13. Just because a person has mental illness or is violating traffic laws does not mean they are not dangerous.There are scores of cases of mentally ill people that have killed or seriously injured innocent victims in Berkeley.

    Ask the counselor who was attacked and almost killed by a mentally ill man at Whole Foods on Gilman.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2017/11/02/berkeley-mental-health-worker-describes-fight-life-outside-whole-foods
    Ask the guy who was pushed onto the tracks in front of a BART train a few weeks ago.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2020/06/16/man-leaps-to-safety-after-being-pushed-onto-tracks-at-downtown-berkeley-bart
    Ask the family of Emilie Inman, fatally stabbed by a mentally ill 22 year old CAL student who was a stranger.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2017/11/13/uc-berkeley-student-told-friend-fatal-stabbing-time-now
    Ask the people randomly whacked in the head with a tree branch downtown.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2018/11/01/woman-arrested-in-downtown-berkeley-after-unprovoked-tree-branch-attack
    Ask the family of Diante Craig, shot dead in Berkeley due to road rage.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2020/03/27/richmond-husband-and-wife-charged-in-berkeley-road-rage-murder-case
    Ask the family of Peter Cukor, bludgeoned to death by a mentally ill stranger.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2015/05/29/mentally-ill-man-who-murdered-berkeley-man-peter-cukor-sentenced-to-33-years-to-life-in-napa-state-hospital?doing_wp_cron=1595123798.3302490711212158203125
    Ask the family of the elderly woman that was pushed from behind in downtown Berkeley.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2014/10/14/after-community-tip-police-arrest-sf-woman-after-violent-downtown-berkeley-assault

    Some mentally ill people are not dangerous, but many are, and there is no way to tell just by looking at them.

  14. This is why Berkeley has its own public mental health dept–to waste money, broadcast our virtue and not help with the problems.

  15. BPD is very good at dealing with mentally ill people. I have seen them de-escalate and deal with deranged people in a very professional, calm, and non-violent way. People that are trained and are capable of defending themselves have a degree of serenity in a potentially violent situation that most of us will never have. Yes, a person having a mental breakdown and walking around in traffic may well require an armed police response. Everyone that lives in Berkeley has seen people in this situation. Two weeks ago while waiting to go into Trader Joe´s I saw (and heard) a completely deranged and large strong man, screaming and yelling violent obscenities at all random people, walking in and out of traffic on MLK, and the busy intersection at University, crossing the street, throwing objects (of course not wearing a mask!), and fighting with his demons. Everyone in line for the store was terrified, and relieved to see him eventually walk past us, and wander into traffic, while still screaming at everyone. Just because someone is having a mental breakdown does not mean that they are not dangerous,and that they are not in possession of a gun, a knife, or pipe, or a deadly ability to throw a person into traffic or through a window. Berkeley´s never ending tolerance of drug and alcohol abuse and untreated severe mental illness puts everyone at risk, including unarmed mental health counselors. Ask the mental health worker that fought for her life in the Whole Foods parking lot:
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2017/11/02/berkeley-mental-health-worker-describes-fight-life-outside-whole-foods

  16. Unfortunately that’s the Democratic way if you have a problem throw more money at it.

  17. So are all people having mental breakdowns violent felons? I think Mad Amos Malone view of society is one that sees people with mental illness as “less than” and thus they are bad which equals criminal.

  18. First of all, police are also civilians, they are not military, which is a very important distinction. It is a known fact that BPD officers have limited training when it comes to dealing with mentally ill people. In actuality it is really not their job, and they should not have to do it. So, if someone is having a mental break down and jay walks, do we need city government employees armed with guns and tazer to deal with the issue?

  19. Of course traffic stops are notoriously dangerous. Drivers are being stopped by people
    with guns and if you’re black or brown the encounter might end with you dead.

  20. I want to see the Mayor and every member of the council volunteer to serve for at least 90 days to provide unarmed traffic enforcement and homeless response so they can show everyone how it is done. I also want them to sign a waiver promising not seek damages or worker´s compensation for any injury they may receive during this time.

    Jesse was elected on a promise to end homelessness. Mission accomplished. We went from 1k to over 2k while spending tens of millions of dollars. We have people living in squalor on the streets all over Berkeley. Jesse makes big promises, but does not deliver.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2015/06/24/berkeley-council-open-to-proposals-to-end-homeless-but-questions-how-to-pay-for-them
    https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Mayor/Homelessness/#:~:text=According%20to%20a%20homeless%20count,steps%20to%20address%20this%20crisis.
    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2019/04/05/berkeley-now-estimates-there-are-2k-homeless-people-who-come-through-the-city-in-a-year

  21. Lol! Thats so funny. All these communists want a utopia but they dont want THEIR taxes raised…

  22. Polling from the Pew Research Center has shown that just 22% of African-Americans want police funding “decreased a lot,” with the overwhelming majority favoring small decreases, no change, or even increases.

  23. “Out of all 14 cities in Alameda County, Berkeley has the highest rate of hospitalizations for mental health. Between 2012 and 2014, the city saw 2,292 mental health hospitalizations. Most (28%) of these hospitalizations were for depression. Another 25% involved schizophrenia and related diagnoses.”*

    The Council should have paid more attention to the effects of having the highest rate of subsidized housing per capita of any city in California, along with the highest rate of homelessness in the Bay Area. In fact the Police department has been suggesting a mental health intervention team for at least two years. In the meantime, the ambulance agreement with the County ended, and officers have to wait, often up to 4 hours for the private ambulance to show up. Fix that, Council.

    Greenwood has compiled extensive data on these issues in his work with the Center for Policing Equity . However, the Council has decided that they will have the Democratic Socialist ‘unbiased’ auditor Jenny Wong do her ‘magic’.

    This should be a collaborative effort with Greenwood, rather than a dog and pony show to assuage the activists.

    *source: goodtherapy.org/

  24. Om N B on the bus out of town when this omnibus resolution turns Berkeley into the wild west. Why do we pay the highest taxes in the area to idealogues that always find creative new ways to deliver fewer basic city services? Ineffective public health department despite big funding, terrible road conditions despite bond measures, crumbling sewers despite bond measures, inadequate lighting despite bond measures, crumbling marina and fishing pier despite bond measures, closed swimming pool despite bond measures, low police staffing, filthy homeless camps and RV´s everywhere despite spending millions on homeless services. Responsible leaders fix boring stuff instead of trying to get their names into the New York Times.

  25. Unarmed civilian government employees trying to enforce rules when dealing with the mentally ill, and traffic offenders, what could go wrong?

  26. Traffic stops are notoriously dangerous, even for trained armed police officers. After the first unarmed traffic stops, or homeless interventions, go South, and our unarmed traffic or homeless civilian enforcement officers are foreseeably shot dead, bludgeoned to death, or paralyzed, we will be in court trying to defend the city from gigantic wrongful death lawsuits. We will pay millions to the families of yet to be hired civilian traffic enforcement and homeless response officers for the intentional failure to provide a safe workplace, as required by California law. This policy will cost the lives of civilian employees forced into unreasonably dangerous working conditions.

  27. If I’m in Berkeley, I personally plan to disregard these “ambassadors”. I’m not stopping and definitely not signing anything. If they want to cite someone, send a real cop.

  28. Apartheid? I think that overall stats (not only Berkeley) show that an officer’s race is not a predictor for any particular mistreatment of any certain citizens. Actually, in recent times, due to intense scrutiny’s, white officers are even *less likely* to.

  29. This is going to be awesome!!! I cant wait to see what happens to these retards when the first violent felon turns a social worker’s head into a canoe with a pistol.
    What will they do when the city is sued because one of the people that should have been arrested kills someone?

  30. They are pro Pension….and job saving that way……Police they are just an expense as they believe in Peter Pan too.

  31. that’s a lawsuit of significant magnitude coming to a town near you……would love to be the attorney on the winning side of this one, cha Ching$$, cha Ching$$

  32. I just want to know who will be responsible, (police, council/Mayor/Restorative Justice Cape crusaders or BDOT), for taking out/taking down the Berkeley Frankenstein Bike Chop shops interspersed amongst the lingering, fetid encampments along the freeways and bi-ways. At minimum, will Berkeley bring these “encampment” bike shops into the fold of legitimate businesses of Berkeley, collect the appropriate sales taxes and also insure that proper business licenses will be established with these “Chop Shops?” Or should we be safe to assume business as usual at the expense of the taxpayers, bike riders and businesses of Berkeley? We have now all seen enough Ring videos and private video camera’s witnesses the thefts of bikes, packages and property from our neighborhoods.

    Given their freakishly, bizarre, methods of taking apart these expensive STOLEN bicycles from our neighborhoods and businesses, for parts to reassemble into abby normal bike atrocities (young Frankenstein-reference), or outright sell the parts for “crime profits” and drug money. These special interest bike businesses do matter in fact, these encampment owned/operated businesses have now established a protest group called…….. FBBM (Frankenstein Bike Businesses Matter).

    Meanwhile, the rest of us in Berkeley are supporting BLM…..and don’t want to support FBBM!

    **NOTE: BDOT = Berkeley Department of Transportation OR soon to be Berkeley Doesn’t Observe Taxpayers

  33. I wish the city’s attorneys would examine California law regarding, for example, the proposal to shift traffic enforcement from the police, because a municipality cannot override state law. I can’t remember which stupid proposal was in violation of state law a while back, but Arreguín backed off after he learned that it was in conflict. Berkeley always thinks it is a universe unto itself when it is part of the State of California. Their ignorance is not okay. Meanwhile, this city administration is scaring the pants off residents. Harrison should know better because she worked for the state judicial branch.

  34. I thought Berkeley was a pro union
    town? This movement to eliminate union police jobs should be enough to motivate a protest…unless of course Berkeley people are hypocrites.

  35. Good thinking. However, good thinking does not seem to be a priority among the city “fathers”. They are more interested in turning down the fires under racial unrest by appeasing the violent mobs and caving to their demands. All the violent mobs want is for the cops to leave them alone so they can go on with their drug trafficking and other criminal behavior without the police breaking up their little parties.

  36. If the city of Berkeley is so concerned about racial profiling and mistreatment of people of color, then why not have a police force that has racial parity…in other words, have black police in black neighborhoods, Hispanic police in Hispanic neighborhoods, and white police in white neighborhoods? And in mixed zones, have police partners of mixed races. If the perpetrator is a person of color, the cop who is of the same race will make the stop. Not the best idea, but far better than this asinine plan by the Berkeley city council. It is so full of holes it looks like a piece of Swiss cheese on steroids!

  37. Sort of. It’s really about reducing arrest rates of particular racial groups. That’s fine in my opinion – but we should just be plainspoken about it. Hiding behind a bunch of mumbo jumbo and extra costs is obviously silly. I don’t go along with that. What I might go along with is “Blacks have been subject to racism for centuries and it still persists today. Their position in society results in increased criminality and their higher arrest rates keep them in a bottom caste. The city should not be contributing to those arrest records”: That I can believe and support. I would like the money the city saves on policing returned to me to acquire a weapon, an alarm system, and other personal protection. I would also like the city to use those savings to make free secure bike parking, among other defenses against property theft.

  38. One internet commenter whom I have learned to trust gave me this wise advice:
    Don’t believe everything that internet commenters say.

  39. time to sell my home in berkeley, i really don’t want my family dragged into this experiment.

  40. At the end of the council meeting, one of the CMs, can’t remember if it was Bartlett or someone else–said that they want to build this new system so it cannot be changed back. How they will do that is anyone’s guess. Maybe that means gutting our police department.

  41. I fail to see why creating a department to tackle homelessness and the mentally ill by diverting funds from the PD to finance said dept is so outrageous. To me this is exactly what the city should be doing and I’m willing to bet our police will thank us for it. They shouldn’t be doing this work anyway.

  42. Arreguin stated on NPR this morning that “civilian” traffic enforcement was being explored and there were many unanswered questions. As of now traffic enforcement is as it always has been.

  43. The week of May 31st logged an all-time high murder and violent crime rate, since 1961, in Chicago. It also happened to be when the police were preoccupied with all the “demonstrations” and riots.

    This was a demonstration, alright — of what to expect when police are not policing more generally in an overall locale.

  44. How many of these unarmed specialized unit people are going to get killed before they decide it was a bad idea?
    These people got a screw loose. This will definitely create a model for the rest of the country. Not one to follow but to show how assinine liberal policies are.

  45. Not dumbest–about 40% of BHS parents have a master’s or doctorate. Smart and well-educated, but many are irrational in an over-the-top PC way.

  46. And how will the undertrained 911 dispatchers be able to distinguish a dangerous traffic situation from the others? How fast will the Real Police get there when a seemingly safe traffic stop turns dangerous?

  47. Unfortunately, CM Rigel, being a tyro, relies greatly on his ‘den’ mother, Kate Harrison. Previously Harrison, his co-sponsor, has expressed support for a plan to severely restrict the ability of BPD to perform ‘probation’ stops by requiring the officer to ask the probationer to sign a release. This plan has the possibility of implementing restrictions on when an Officer would even be allowed to pull over a vehicle.

    In a recent case, the Berkeley Police conducted a probation search of an individual who was NOT observed committing a crime. In fact, he was relaxing, enjoying the view of Willard Park at sunset, after a long day of cocaine sales. Such searches would not be allowed under Harrison’s proposal.

    https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2018/06/07/probationer-faces-new-gun-and-drug-sales-charges-after-arrest-by-berkeley-police

  48. You haven’t been keeping up, even with current city news. *Nothing* is too dumb to be a City of Berkeley policy.

  49. My source was another commenter who I’ve learned to trust. Any current city employee is likely to lie about this or, if in the PD, decline to comment. I suggest asking city retirees who were employees and familiar with the process then.

    And I wouldn’t be at all surprised. I drove a schoolbus around Fruitvale for 6mo and was then an Uber driver, doing 30,000mi/yr for 4yr. You wouldn’t believe how bad some of the drivers are. E.g. within the same hour, I saw both a kid on a dirt bike (not street-legal) and a guy in a fast car accelerate hard up International Blvd on the wrong side of the divider, just to get around slow traffic. Even some people who are otherwise law-abiding turn into demonstrative sociopaths (like many criminals) behind the wheel, because they’re safely anonymous there and with the Oakland PD, there’s little chance of getting caught.

  50. Again, though, just where would you “see” that? This whole “issue” only really emerged before the pubic in most recent *weeks*. And, obviously, those promoting, pressuring and squeezeplaying it have been preparing for rather considerable time *before* roling it out like this.

    And, again, mistaking concerted, orchestrated campaigns pushing for immediate implementations as any kind of meaningful “vote” or representative consensus of the citizenry, due to absence of a similar opposition campaign that, somehow, anticipated this is specious, at best.

  51. I suspect that with reasonable time and benefit of foreknowledge that “defunding the police” and halving their budget would allow quite a few folks to make a note of which ballot box to fill in.

    This has been more like a sprint in a coupla’ weeks. Which makes it all the more amazing that such offerings were crafted “in time” for this.

    It’s a bit reminiscent of how TOPA got announced in Oakland, immediately, and then Berkeley just a month after the #Moms&Babies4Houses PR stunt in Oakland. Oh, and after the two years prior work that was actually necessary to develop it.

    Other remarkable “sudden” major transformations have been taking place in other cities. With hardly anyone, at least in the media, wondering *how* that could be. And, apparently, not even looking back to, say, when the U.S. Dept. of Justice in cahoots with the U.N. and U.N. ICLEI cities announced a particular initiative and program to redesign policing. And “globally”. In 2015. Minneapolis, in particular.

    By the way, Berkeley is a key ICLEI city.

  52. The personal experience of the traffic citation ambassadors will be a fascinating study in human behavior. After a few months, they will learn what kinds of cars and who is safest for them to approach. They will go out of their way to avoid any risky stop. I can see all the traffic ambassadors hanging out in North Berkeley stopping little old ladies driving by themselves in cars with untinted windows for California stops to meet their ticketing quotas. Much safer personally for them.

  53. So you think the Berkeley psychologist and caseworker is going to be part of some sort of a union? Right.

  54. We have a city attorney to give advice on things like this. The city doesn’t make legal decisions based on advice from internet comments.

  55. Not at all unique to policing. Ever talk to a teacher or traffic engineer about their interactions with the public? Usually it comes down to the public not knowing better how to do a job, but having different priorities than the professional.

  56. Honestly, now that I’m home during the day and can see the intersection from my window all day, we’re already there. No one stops. Truth be told, I don’t necessarily think it’s important for everyone to come to a complete stop, especially not bikes, but i sure wish they’d slow down.

  57. Anyone with common sense knows that communism collapsed 30 years ago. Now the word “communist” is just a meaningless right-wing slur.

  58. I have heard that they turned off the red-light cameras because the police didn’t like spending time reviewing the results. That is a case where a DOT could be more effective.

  59. I have heard that they do it to minimize the chance of violence. If they send one officer, the criminal is more likely to resist, leading to possible injuries on both sides.

  60. Another commenter with a mystical ability to foretell the future before anyone has even started to discuss how responsibility will be divided between the DOT and the police. No doubt, the police will be in charge of controlling sideshows and of enforcement in other dangerous situations.

  61. Complete misunderstanding to say that mental health people are doing traffic enforcement.

  62. Pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, scooter riders, wheel chairs, motorcyclists, and anyone operating a motor vehicle BEWARE! The term ‘California Stop’ will take on new meaning in Berkeley.

  63. Another department supported by its citizens and officials. Albany is taking applications. Let me remind you that a couple of years ago we learned that 80% of police had taken a concrete action toward leaving.

  64. The intent of all these maneuvers by the City Council is NOT to give the police more resources for fighting crime.

  65. You’re assuming our leaders want to take a reasonable and thoughtful approach prior to making changes. No – it’s all political posturing and jumping on the current progressive bandwagon. Up until a month and half ago, they all thought our police department was just fine. Suddenly, it needs major revamping due to an incident several thousand miles away.

  66. As an interested party from a different part of the country, I’m curious when the street racing leagues are starting up. With mental health people doing your traffic enforcement, they should be lined up ready to launch the minute it gets signed into law.

    Just do us a favor, and hook up the cameras so we can watch the chaos. Thanks in advance.

  67. Of course anyone with common sense and not in a liberal communist stronghold knew this would be the outcome.

  68. When you make them sworn officers they become eligible to be in the police union and are now actually cops.

  69. Well, I finally had time to listen to the whole thing today and it was kind of shocking. Davila can’t even be bothered to answer yes or no to procedural questions? Instead she gives a sarcastic “I guess so” which the minute taker presumably counts as an affirmative. And those speakers…hour after hour of emotional, melodramatic nothingness. This is how we make decisions?

  70. Some people are naive idealists, and have to learn about human nature the hard way. When the number of Berkeley pedestrians run down and killed by drunk and reckless drivers starts to climb 500%, the non-woke majority in the community will demand a return to diligent traffic enforcement by sworn officers with the authorities, tools and training of deterrence.

    When the young anti-authority types in the surrounding community decide, “Wouldn’t it be fun to hold a sideshow in front of BART Downtown! — the weanie BerkDOTs won’t dare show up on their golf carts!!” — the radical SJW types will finally be shouted down at City Council as weak people who set still weaker standards for Black and Brown people. It’s a sick reverse racism that Pres. Bush 43 warned the country about.

  71. Yes, and women have been killed in Saudi Arabia for not covering their faces but we aren’t going to throw all religious leaders under the bus for that. We’re talking about Berkeley. The PRC can’t even find cases of excessive force and that’s their whole reason for existing.

  72. Do you have some proof of the reason for turning off the traffic light cameras? Seems too dumb to be a policy.

  73. Its certainly interesting to watch people tell professionals who have been doing their jobs for years how to do them. I’m sure an architect would love your feedback on the superfluous amount of beams for their project and the plumber would like your guidance as to why his pipes gotta be bending this way instead of the other.

  74. The SJWs would hate that. The reason the city turned off the red-light cameras years ago was that they proved that black drivers were running red lights at a much higher rate than anyone else, and the SJWs and other PC types couldn’t bear this cognitive dissonance and insisted they be turned off. They want equality of outcomes if not preferential outcomes, regardless of the facts. The camera and flash systems are still there at several major intersections, just waiting to be turned on.

  75. I believe the “racial justice lens” thing means “white” people will get more costly citations than non-“white” people. Obviously if this happens the most likely end is some disastrous lawsuit where taxpayers get to fix the council’s mistakes.

  76. Not sure if this already came up here but someone pointed out to me (correctly) that there were 300+ people on the Zoom call, for those who were curious.

  77. And let’s not forget that he said he wanted a dedicated Gang unit and canines among other technological advances, because he understood that safety was important. This wasn’t 10 years ago, this was recent. The police department hasn’t changed. Berkeley hasn’t changed. The only thing that has changed is his loyalty to the mob versus our safety.

  78. Why do I get the sense when all is said and done we will somehow be spending more money and be left with worse services ?

  79. Why would I pull over for someone who doesn’t have the power to give me a more serious charge or arrest me if I don’t? They can try to take a picture of my plate and mail me a ticket, assuming I have a plate, registration, and accurate address with DMV. Since I’m not getting pulled over I don’t need to be concerned about the resulting bench warrant.

  80. Our city council pols do not declare themselves Dem or Repug. Much of city staff is unionized. They don’t need to be cops to form unions to extract obscene salaries (I know someone who is little more than an office clerk for the city not in a ‘professional’ job who is paid $100K for the clerical job) and cushy pension money.

  81. I hope our bozo-politicians and overpaid city staffers take a good look at the way BPD sends out multiple squad cars with two cops a piece for fairly minor things such as one teen shoplifting a soda (3 cop cars, six cops) or one person laying on sidewalk near downtown BART (3 squad cars, six cops).

    I hear cops claiming they don’t have enough funding but I bet they could open up some money for police work if they only send one squad car for a call unless and until the first cop card acts for backup.

  82. MM used the word “dumbest,” for which the antonym is “smartest,” not “most educated.” Since The Enlightenment era, Western universities emphasized educating students to become knowledgeable about their culture and prepared to be the thoughtful, well-informed citizens necessary to sustain a vital Republic. Using the term “smartest” in response to MM opens the discussion up to identifying those people. Many of us know very smart people who aren’t highly educated and, conversely, some very dumb people who are; the original purpose of universities having been supplanted over the past 50 years by several incompatible threads of educational activity.

  83. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now a then. Applying a “racial justice lens” to traffic stops is a precise description of how traffic stops should be done. Speed and red light cameras, which have lenses, take pictures of license plates of those running red lights and speeding and mails them citations. The racial justice lens on the cameras are completely blind to the race of the driver. So we get race-blind traffic enforcement.

    Sounds like they are on to something.

  84. Close. If you are opposed to policing, your badge tells the perp they can rob you without risk of capture. Or as someone who will call the police, I’m happy to wear the badge and bumper sticker indicating I will call the police. Not so different than the placards alarm companies put in front of the houses where they provide services. I’m on the verge of making a bunch of placards and bumper stickers and selling them in Berkeley. It’s performance art to demonstrate that the defund the police movement just hopes criminals will steal from others.

  85. What goes on in Berkeley is buck passing and avoiding criticism for making decisions that are best decisions but not popular, is saying we or a committee are studying problem solution rather than solving it.

    I’ve been involved with making some pretty serious decisions. They were made by listing possible solutions and using input from experts, when necessary, to identify what’s not possible, what is feasibility, the probability of possible solutions solving a problem. Real experts rarely need much time to opine, certainly not months. Expert assistance shouldn’t be needed to create a list of possible solutions but can be helpful just like solutions submitted by city resident can be helpful.

    If what elected officials decide doesn’t satisfy a majority of voters, almost 80,000 in Berkeley, the officials can be replaced by a public process, an election.

  86. So we just have to make them sworn officers of the law with no job except enforcing traffic violations.

  87. “the people who will replace the cops will not be part of any union”
    Mystical power to protect the future?? Or just a wild imagination??

  88. You mentioned neglecting to signal a turn, I’m asking why mental health professionals would be appropriate for that? I agree that the police should get support from them and vice versa, but who will be responsible for routine but often dangerous traffic stops? At this time the murderous bloodbaths are exploding in cities that have undermined their law enforcement, and Black and Brown children are being murdered with impunity as a predictable result.

  89. This is about reorganizing public safety into new departments, not necessarily about reducing the total budget for public safety. It is possible that the police will have more resources for fighting serious crime after other departments take over some of their other responsibilities.

  90. No, but I grew up in LA in the 80s and know what an out of control police department looks like, including having my ass kicked by two LAPD when I was 13 while they laughed. BPD is pretty much exactly what a police department should be like.

  91. Also factor in the cost of ongoing struggle sessions to inculcate and then maintain the demanded “lens” on racial justice.

  92. New York Times reporting today that crime rates are spiking in cities where Defund has been the loudest.

  93. I feel like we need to issue badges or something so that people can live their values: if you’re opposed to policing, the badge means the police will not respond to your calls.

  94. Citizens are under no obligation to stop when ordered from someone other than a sworn officer of the law.

  95. This whole thing sounds anti-union because the people who will replace the cops will not be part of any union, I’m really surprised all of you democrats support ending all of these union jobs to be replaced by scabs. I thought the democratic party always supported union causes and jobs? And yet the unions always blindly support the democratic candidate…ponder that for a moment.

  96. This new department will cost far more than the current system. That is the reason that only very big cities have separate transportation departments.

    The new department will presumably hire new people for this enforcement, which will also include supervisory and support staff. What will be needed includes, but is not limited to:
    • new, specially equipped vehicles,
    • mechanics and inventory for the added vehicles,
    • IT infrastructure,
    • IT support equipment and personnel,
    • body cameras,
    • license plate scanners, and
    • additional shop space to make repairs.

    I imagine one unspoken justification is that they intend to make this a profit center by greatly increasing the number of citations. It will be declared to be part of the enforcement aspect of Vision Zero

    It’s also unclear how this new department will be allowed to make traffic stops without sworn police officers, this last point is no easy thing to resolve if the city insists that they are not police. The alternative equivalent would be to hire or assign unarmed police to use existing or additional police vehicles whose assignments are limited to traffic enforcement. I suppose that would not be politically acceptable now that the arbitrary 50% reduction in police funding has been firmly stated. As a side note, car sales are up, as many people who used public transportation are now feeling the need for a car to be safe from Covid-19 while meeting their transportation needs.

    I’m all for reforming police department shortcomings but not all police departments are the same. I advocate listing all of the issues that are problems with our police department (certainly before pulling a number like 50% out of the air) and then discussing plans to address those issues. Once careful and thoughtful deliberation have been made, a plan can be made and executed. That plan should include baseline data from which the problem issues were created and then ongoing data gathering could be published so that we can see if or how well the program is working. Modifications to the plan could then be made and the results measured. Likewise, the list of outstanding issues could be updated to include new problems that are identified over time.

  97. Restorative justice just tells the criminal that his actions were caused by someone else and rids him of any responsibility free to commit the same crime again.

  98. There are a lot of working class people with common sense also they are just busy working and don’t have time to get involved with the nonsense.

  99. You never lived there judging from your misspelling of the name and the comment. Berkeley people are actually quite educated owing to the university but herein lies the problem. Liberals have the educated elite, universities and big business CEOs on their side while the Trump coalition is a loose group of working poor, evangelicals and conservatives. Luberals are backing the wrong horse due to political, social and business interests, but to say they are uneducated misses the point and the danger of the whole situation. Remember the communist revolution was driven by educated socially conscious people and initially was backed by big business interests.

  100. EVERY “issue” and action is being reduced to an allegedly “racial” premise. Now that’s posed as meaning that any even uncooperative or non-collaborative, or short of outright supportive response to Davila is, therefore, a racist, misogynist and likely white supremacist act.

  101. I happen to have been a “motorcycle traffic escort” for a couple of years. As such, we were empowered under state law to serve as valid “officers” (not police) to provide “traffic safety” functions.

    For example, when working a funeral procession, the motorcade has priority at any/all intersections, entering/merging with highway/freeway lanes, etc. So we were authorized to enter such intersections, use appropriate visual//auditory alerts and physically “take” those locations by using our vehicles and bodies to stop traffic, regardless of usual signal lights and protocols otherwise, and to “hold” the locations while allowing the motorcade safe, uninterrupted passage.

    But law specifies at some detail just which specific color of lights, audio alert sirens/horns, and even uniforms are allowable, valid or not for such duties. And there are no powers of detention or arrest.

  102. The “agitator” method of inducing intense confrontations with police in order to prompt as forceful a response as possible, along with “media” present to capture as damning appearing visuals and commentary, is well known.

    Tossed out last night were “stats” represented as supposedly manifest evidence of yet-another “disproportionate” amount of traffic stops. As such a formula is used for police shootings of unarmed citizens, it’s questionable or dubious when within a different context.

    An actual analysis of those incidents, including actual outcome, may reveal otherwise, but may also be why advocates so concertedly attempted to avoid it.

  103. Why do I get the sense when all is said and done we will somehow be spending more money and be left with worse services ?

  104. True, but also some of the smartest. If it weren’t for the Nobel prize winners and engineers and entrepreneurs in this town there would be no resources or tax dollars to support all the freeloaders, administrators, and dummies.

  105. The people who support this movement think the police should let the perp go, the laptop owner deserves to lose the laptop because of privilege and the perp is just trying to get money to buy bread to feed his family. If this sounds idiotic you are not part of the problem BUT if it sounds like this is the new way and correct YOU are the problem.

  106. One commenter last night asserted that the Minneapolis Police, whom have been entirely defunded and disbanded, are looking to BPD as demonstrable, exemplary source for “reimagining” their own, new policing. How ironic, eh?

    Davila, et al, expressed extreme ire and opposition to the chief, along with the failed attempt toward firing him. The singular basis for that which several persons articulated were his comments about what options cops would have to protect their lives against attacking crowds, if deprived of non-or-less lethal options.

    I was attending the meeting when that was posed. His adversaries have been wildly mischaracterising the whole thing and despite having already forced him to public apology.

  107. She is definitely not my favorite person either, but I don’t see any evidence of what you are saying. Do you have a photo other than what you have posted here? She clearly has her chin resting between her thumb and first finger in this photo… unless she has six fingers? Let’s attack her actual actions ( or inaction as the case may be) instead of just making things up that sound inflammatory, shall we? The latter just makes you look like the one who is a pouty child.

  108. Can anyone please explain how defunding the Berkeley police dept makes anyone safer. This is a serious question I just don’t see it, BPD is one of the best in the nation. The only thing that will come out of this is a spike in crime rates.

  109. A key, and described, intention is to not just move funds/personnel out of police and into civic departments, instead, but to thereby fund NGOs. I guess that’s sort of the progressive, dem version of “privitizing”?

  110. Consider: the “real” reason a person would revert to crime is because of their inherent victimization by an oppressive system, structurally fashioned in ways that have induced trauma throughout their life while depriving them of access to remedial resources and opportunities other than crime.

    Therefore, to victimize them further, via punitive incarceration extends and compounds their plight.

    However, providing trauma therapy and perhaps “investing” in them by, say, training and supplying a decent, well paid job might “restore” them as a substantially contributing member of the community, instead.

    Something like that. A latest premise is the “epigenetic” angle, transorming the whole matter into a “public health” and “epidemiological” reframing.

  111. Surely you aren’t advocating that a city employee put their life on the line for a mere “property crime”? After all, it’s becoming deemed acceptable for mobs to loot stores and even burn down police departments, in understandable ‘protest’, rather than “enforce” against them with “brutality” for “only” property theft and destruction. And nevermind masks and social distancing, either.

  112. So, doesn’t it make sense to hire more public safety workers, regardless of whether they are in the PD or the DOT?

  113. In this long process of deciding how to reorganize and define responsibilities, won’t they come up with guidelines about which domestic disputes the police will respond to and which mental health workers will respond to?

  114. As part of the process of planning this, they will get advice from the city attorney and other attorneys on how to do it legally. They generally rely on advice from attorneys, not from internet commenters.

  115. There will be a public process to decide how responsibilities will be divided between the PD and the DOT. It would be constructive to ask this question as part of the process.

  116. Try running for council on a platform that says: I will make decisions without public process. Competent public officials can make decisions without getting any help from experts or comments from the public.

    See how much of the electorate backs this undemocratic and reckless approach.

  117. As I understand it, the “Public Comments” aspect of city council meetings could be best regarded as opportunities to add various informative items, perspective and such considerations to the matters on agenda. However, it seems that some people attempt to use it as some kind of ad hoc “voting” function. This seems misguided to me. Worse, it also seeks to end-run or actually prevent a more truly democratic process.

    After all, “defunding” or outright “abolishing” a police department is an especially fundamental and important change — enough so that, personally, I’d think it deserves to go before the entire voting citizenry, and *prior* to enacting anything of the kind. To that extent, I may be in disagreement with council, as well.

    But to “load” the meeting with rank and file of “organized activists” and their sympathizers, queing all up to weight the count of individuals expressing identical and echoed opinion, also can preempt comments otherwise. With no valid “voting” aspect, such special interest domination of sessions does not genuinely add anything else of note, while displacing or disallowing other contributions.

    Davila’s proposal could seem similar to advocates’ so strongly promoting it, in the sense of being largely a conceptual and symbolic act, but rather short on necessary particulars and pragmatics of implementation. To that extent, I can only agree with one Commenter’s remarks that it “puts the cart before the horse”. The “50% or more” cut notion apparently isn’t based on actual, analyzed budget amounts, nor does it carry through with the diligences of identifying specific funding amounts nor allocation process for intended alternate agencies, also lacking in posing of reliably predictable results. In other words, it isn’t really a plan so much as an intention.

    A key managerial saying is: “Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but execution is everything.” The accepted and approved resolution is much more of a substantive, planned procedure which can supply the missing and necessary elements and processes to more responsibly and transparently determine just how to effect “change” replete with which, why and when. I meant to share some material along this line in a public comment, but after spending the entire evening awaiting a turn, it eventually became too late for me to endure anymore of the mobilized, merely parroting remarks in order to get my “word in edgewise”. So I retired.

    The new city transportation agency is being so hailed and lauded for the one aspect of transferring traffic violation stops away form police to unarmed and, presumably, more “just” civilian personnel of some kind that I’m left wondering about what suggested to me might be as significant a feature, but almost entirely neglected so far — the so-called “engineering” intention.

    Along with a very brief mention of “public transportation” as a way to ostensibly relieve citizen liability for driving infractions the one-word representation for… something… has been approved, too. I’m concerned that this is a somewhat veiled and camouflaged way to have gained approval for a rather more pointed purpose that it appeared almost everyone didn’t even notice the feature. For instance, remember how a few years back the public voted down the idea of a “pedestrian mass transit mall” for Telegraph Ave.? Will we now see something like that idea pursued by this new agency, or something similar? It would certainly be a basis for both creating such an agency and supplying funding for developing such concepts and all before the public even realizes what it’s drumming up, “engineering” and “investing” in.

  118. My guess about “racial justice lens” and similar gobbledygook, activists in Berkeley have been so successful there are few raison d’etre for Berkeley activists to be active.

    Police outside Berkeley do make bad, racially profiled traffic stops, too often egregiously, so activists take the stance that all cops are the same so Berkeley cops must make bad stops too and should be defunded, the usual process for people who are prejudice. Thus, an activist can be active.

    This is not to demean people who have had awful experiences with cops or who sincerely believe Berkeley police are bad because of ignorance. It’s to say there are people who have a need to rant, speechify on top of a soapbox, and they need a problem du jour to satisfy their need. And, this should be acknowledged by respecting their right to speak freely not by government policy, which should be based on fact and reflect the needs and wants of, in Berkeley, the thousands of people who are not complaining.

    If you disagree with me, before you let loose inaccurate pejoratives, think about how a cop in Berkeley behind a speeder or who sees a car speeding or who sees a car being driven dangerously knows the race, gender, sexual orientation of the driver before they are at the driver’s door asking for license, registration and proof of insurance, items all drivers in California are required to have, though one Berkeley city council members has thought they don’t have to obey the law and that Berkeley cops should treat him specially because he controls their income.

  119. Who would want to be Mayor? The job is a nightmare considering the other council members, and the many many many problems either created or at least expanded by them over the last few years. I briefly considered it, despite having no experience and frankly not the right temper for it, but thought maybe a platform of “mostly reasonable person who plans to vote with Rashi and Lori so the sane people can have a chance at the majority, plus I want to save our pools” might be a winner. But the reality of how awful the job is, and how impossible it is to actually solve our problems, convinced me that even considering it was a bad idea.

  120. There wasn’t any shrieking I heard at the meeting, although it was long, I’ll give you that.

    Ballot initiatives take a lot of work to get off the ground and get people to vote for a certain initative – to be honest, I haven’t seen that much initiative of those who opposed these (fairly modest) police reforms which makes me think there actually isn’t that much opposition to these ideas from Berkeley residents.

  121. Well, if the victim was one of Berkeley’s residents that wants to go to any length to keep people out of jail, then nothing happens at all. No stop to be made. See how that works?

  122. Dropping off a ballot takes 10 minutes and doesn’t involve having to spend hours listening to shrieking activists spout infuriating inanities..

  123. I have tried sitting in on council zoom meetings but quickly get so infuriated that I have to leave to prevent my blood pressure from getting dangerously high.

  124. How is this scenario supposed to work?

    Person is walking on south side and is jumped for laptop by two guys with a gun. Takes a hit on the head. No 911 call is placed yet.

    Assailants drive off at high speed or at low speed with no license plate, etc.

    They pass an armed BPD cruiser who does not engage to make a traffic stop.

    An unarmed traffic enforcer makes a stop. Gun is on the seat. What happens now?

    Or: unarmed makes a stop. 911 call comes in and now this needs to escalate quickly to skills the unarmed does not have.

    Variant: one of the crooks is a third striker. Unarmed would be a witness in court….

  125. One very real scenario is that officers attrit to the point where the sheriff has to take over. The sheriff will not be subject to this stupidity.

    Oh and CHP, UCP, and BART PD are going to keep on keeping on.

  126. Right.

    To make a lens you first need to figure out what visual defect needs correction. That has not happened.

  127. NYTimes reporting an upswing in crime in cities where anti police sentiment is strong. Lots of downsides for officers and not much upside.

  128. Think of a crime.

    Now think of an arrest.

    Now think of a trial and just sentencing.

    So RJ is definitely the first and sometimes the second but never the third

  129. do you really think she thought that far. She only uses buzz words without any further thought.

  130. People who work normal business hours for a living or just have healthy sleep habits can’t join a session that starts at 10pm on a weeknight. Lots of those people who seemed to be “new to the political process” seemed that way ’cause they aren’t Berkeley Reses.

  131. No, more like people who would be considered communists elsewhere in the country because they are so left but here in Berkeley are considered right-wing because they own a home and pay extraordinarily high taxes that get misused for madness like this.

  132. And that was the Anti-Police Review Commission. Even they couldn’t find inappropriate use of force.

  133. So at this point it also means hills are at risk for way more robberies why not cant be stopped once in car lol and if so it will be by a rent a cop like person with pepper spray so wear goggles and mask and your all good

  134. You’re disregarding all the white people who live in South and West Berkeley why? As you realize, those are the areas that are routinely subjected to crime of all kinds. At the same time, property crime has soared in some (majority white) areas of the Berkeley hills and pretty much everywhere is fair game for catalytic converters boosted, but notably from (majority white) Prius owners.

  135. I couldn’t agree more. Two facts keep me from attending council meetings. One is that they can go on late into the night, the other that they can start with some act that delays the start of council business, even though people might have skipped dinner to attend by 7:00 p.m.

  136. It’s probably legal to make some meter maids (of all genders) sworn officers, after the state-mandated minimal training, and send ’em out unarmed. Not to say it’s a good idea.

  137. Berkeley is a tiny little city. If it ever required districts it certainly doesn’t now. In a sane world it would be run by a few at-large representatives that take turns being “mayor” (like El Cerrito), a city manager, controller, and a modest support staff. Instead you’d think that we lived in Gotham in the middle of some developing nation based on the insanely bloated government that seems to do nothing but create problems where none exist (importing a homeless population, policing, etc.) and only they can solve with whatever fadish protest movement is making happens to be making the noise (remember Occupy?, save the post office?, now it’s let’s-misinterpret-statistics-BLM). What sane person who also has a job and probably family wants to deal with the performance art nightmare?

  138. Imagin if cops decided to strike ha COB dont even have their own cops backs. Never seen a city thats so progressive be so stupid

  139. Also does this mean i can go get car not register it or have license plate and freely drive around berk? Registration can be expensive oh and same with insurance. Also if cop does pull you over for traffic stop can you file official complaint in court as they arent supposed to according to COB

  140. Maybe the cops will sue city that’d be amazing. Or if cops reported to state and federal officials

  141. I wouldnt be suprised if these workers get regularly robbed or worse kidnapped as doesnt sound like they will have police or combat training. I guess makes convenient for criminals international blvd isnt far

  142. Also last time i checked the ones with severe mental illness arent driving around with guns not even sane enough to drive. Your right he is not living in this reality

  143. Thats like you going to ER and the janitor treats you oh you got covid heres some bleach lol. Last time i checked no one carries around illegal guns(bpd has taken off streets with stops) to go pass out balloons to kids….nope…chances are for something bad no reason to get rid of serial numbers either

  144. > …because they are not risking their lives by dealing with violent criminals as part of their job…
    Oh, really? You’re obviously unfamiliar with the realities of police work. Routine traffic stops are one of the most common scenes of shootings of and by police. The cop never knows who’s inside the car, what they’ve recently done, or what they’re going to do. Even if it looks like a carful of hoods, he never knows whether they’ll be cooperative or come out shooting. If he goes into full felony stop mode on mere suspicion he’ll get into big trouble, especially in today’s environment. Hoods are among the most common violators of traffic laws–many can’t resist sociopathic demonstrations of their contempt for society, manifested as exhibition of speed or reckless driving. I don’t think this theory will survive the first shooting of an unarmed traffic enforcer. If it does, that’s worse.

    And domestic disputes and reports of psychotic breakdowns are also common scenarios for assaults on police. Not so great for those unarmed mental health workers walking into them. At least give ’em Kevlar vests and pepper spray.

  145. I thought Mr. Robinson’s post read like the product of a committee rather than one man’s point of view.

  146. Have you ever been pulled over by BPD or do you just want to pretend that you’re living under the jack boot LAPD?

  147. I guess not our council apparently now doesnt need votes or anything. They are taking advantage. I hope someone knows enough to file suit against COB for this its like nibbi admitting housing is for “homeless, disabled, at risk” what about others that need housing that arent in these categories…COB has lost minds.

  148. Residents can sue when things go down city has no right to make this decision and will be breaking state and federal laws. Also have to be part of law enforcement etc for things to hold up in court

  149. Mental health professionals have spent years developing their knowledge and practicing the art of working with mental illness. I very much doubt you’ll find any who want to give up time from their vocation to learn other job skills.

  150. I doubt that serious consideration has been given to establishing a legal basis. One might think such an important issue would at least be put to the voters, but the council probably expects to follow our Governor’s example and govern by fiat.

  151. No way to to know for sure, but I feel that’s also the problem on this forum. I definitely agree that Berkeley residents should be in charge of this decision, and it’s worth noting the elected Mayor and 7 of the 8 elected councilmebers in Berkeley supported this, including those up for re-election. It wasn’t even a close vote.

    Even if there were a ballot initiative I would also be surprised if it changed the result. If residents aren’t showing showing up during a City Council meeting, I’m not convinced they would show up for a campaign either.

  152. No way of knowing they are Berkeley residents…Most normal people with jobs and families cannot spend a whole night and early morning listening to this nonsense nor do normal people have the patience to listen to some of the idiots we call council members.

  153. I can see allocating some funding for those issues, but only if it’s spent on people who have been housed in Berkeley for a specified number of years. The places they left to come here can provide for the others.

  154. I also haven’t been able to fathom what a transportation department with a “racial justice lens” would be. Rose-colored strikes me as very unlikely to be in the mix. However, maybe consideration is being given to setting up the fare box with face recognition technology linked to charging different rates for people of different races.

  155. What is “restorative justice“, in this context?

    “……reduce the police budget so more money can be spent on youth and restorative justice programs…..”

    What would be some examples?

    ?

  156. That’s great but him many were actually Berkeley residents? I can’t vote in some other city’s election when, presumably, important decisions are made.

  157. Having a gun in your lap makes you “unarmed” by the criteria of the often quoted WaPo police homicide database.

  158. Lower paid workers doing traffic stops because they are not risking their lives? Anyone thinking that has no concept of reality. A seemingly normal traffic stop can be extremely dangerous. And why would people even bother to stop? No state law says they have to stop. The vehicle code is very specific.

  159. Pass the buck, that’s what the mayor and council members. sans the abstaining rabble-rouser, did this morning.

    Were there changes really needed in Berkeley, competent elected officials would have identified, specifically, what needed changing and detailed why. Then they would have done whatever had to be done to make the changes in weeks if not sooner, not in months. They would not need to pay for some “expert” to tell them what should be done or need any committee to advise them or need problems and solutions to be studied.

    WTF is a transportation department with “racial justice lens”, a “network of crisis responders”, a “public safety reimagining process”, other than gobbledygook?

    In the beginning, an Omnibus was a horse drawn bus stuffed with whoever could get on. The Berkeley Omnibus Motion is what the horse left behind as it moved the bus forward.

    Someone got it partially right when they, reportedly, opined that what was done was a “pathetic attempt to placate the will of the people at the 11th hour”. What they didn’t get right, the will of the people part. Hundreds may be complaining about the problem du jour. Thousands aren’t.

    Just like voting Donald Trump out of office will be start to solving problems in our country beyond serious, electing a competent mayor and competent council members would be a move toward real progress in Berkeley.

  160. When a driver that is 3x the .08 blood alcohol limit, and on drugs, and/or has a concealed weapon, runs over the person in the crosswalk, and keeps on driving, who is supposed to respond? How will a civilian make the traffic stop? -Throw a marshmallow at the car? After they make the stop, how are they supposed to deal with the driver that refuses all field sobriety tests, and will not allow the civilian traffic enforcement to test them or search for drugs or guns? A civilian dealing with a drunk and drugged driver will no way of enforcing the law or arresting the criminal.
    If a cop does stop and bust a felon on probation for illegal weapons and drugs will it be called an illegal search and the case automatically thrown out?

  161. I’m looking forward to hearing what the malefactors who commute to Berkeley from Richmond and Oakland think of the idea. After all, if they aren’t the majority they aren’t far from it.

  162. “The level of violent crime in Berkeley is lower than similar communities.” No, it’s not lower per 1,000 population based on the data I quoted above.

  163. > …create BerkDOT “to ensure a racial justice lens in traffic enforcement”…
    I suppose this means a strict racial quota system for traffic stops, so that once the daily, weekly or monthly quota for each ethnicity is reached, there’ll be no more enforcement for that period, no matter how dangerous the driving. Except for white drivers. The PC version of apartheid, here we are.

  164. It’s not accurate to say that there were only a few public commenters – there were many, many people who showed their support of these reforms last night.

  165. They have the best or one of the best de-escalation training programs in the US. Why do they need better training? Are you aware of any problems due to lack of training? And, why do they need better staff. Have you seen any problems or even heard of any problems? Check out the PRC report.

  166. That’s you. How about the guy that’s stopped speeding at 2:00 AM with no license plate and tinted windows. How much do we pay the civilian to walk up and knock on his window?

  167. Well, I don’t think a couple of definitions of peace officer taken out of context necessarily preempt a city from organizing two separate law enforcement agencies. The state constitution of California gives cities broad power to organize their local affairs, and preemption by state law has to be justified by an actual conflict.

  168. That doesn’t seem to hold you back. “Ya the budget is so tight we have to defund the [Berkeley] police. The question is how much can we get the council to agree to.” Wow, hypocrisy much?

  169. Is any of the Council’s proposed legislation ever subjected to legal review or is it all just a bunch of magical thinking into the wee hours (3am in this case)?

  170. +1 to this comment. We are stuck in a two-dimensional debate that amounts to either crime or cops, and that’s a false construct. Commenters across the board actually share the same goal: reduced violence and crime, and safer communities. Whether cops are a source of or antidote to violence, or a protector of or threat to personal safety, is entirely a reflection of one’s experience with the police and with the state in general. Folks like me who call for defunding the police are not advocating for lawlessness. We’re advocating for a rethinking of community safety – prioritizing the entire community’s safety, not just white and wealthy community members’ safety – and real investment in the social safety net. Healthcare, housing, jobs, good food – what people actually need to live well and be safe. And also disinvesting from police that we arm and authorize to control and “do our dirty work – dealing with the racial and economic inequities our policies create,” in the words of the former mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges (NY Times, July 9, 2020).

  171. Hey Berkeleyside, how about an article delving into how much the mayor and city council people are paid, and how we ended up in this situation? It seems very clear that if an additional $100k per year resulted in a qualified mayor, or an extra $75k per year resulted in competent city council people, that that expense would be well worth it.

  172. Definitely agree with you that it can be better organized. Starting public comment at 10 PM on the issue most people cared about was pretty rough for all sides.

  173. There’s still the notion of business hours and timezones even though we wear our PJs all day and the kids watch TV until 10pm.

  174. The whole system is dumb. Why is policy being based on who can yell the loudest at a meeting that runs until 3am on a weeknight? There’s a reason we have a representative democracy.

  175. The problem is that BPD is one of about three departments in the nation that’s figured out de-escalation, but they’re taking the fall for the other 17,000 police departments that have been rioting.

  176. But they don’t. Just because blacks are pulled over at higher marginal rate does not imply the reason they were pulled over was because they are black. This fundamental misunderstanding of statistics is driving so much of what’s going on right now, from BLM to Covid. If I told you that whites are 10 times more likely to die in private jet plane crashes than blacks would you conclude that private jet crashes are racist or skin color was otherwise somehow involved?

  177. As a District 2 resident who strongly supports the defund movement, I’m sorry I missed this.

  178. Of course not currently taking duke and georgia tech classes so brains a little full these days lol word genius is great though they send new word in email every AM 🙂

  179. This is going to be absolutely fantastic! Never mind that the California State Vehicle code only allows certain people to make traffic stops, and only allows vehicles with certain markings, but it also dictates who can use a siren, who can use red and blue lights to make that stop….. It will be OK if these people pull over someone who just committed an armed robbery, or a sex offense. It will be OK if the person has a gun in his lap when they make the stop!

    And I am certain that the court will turn a blind eye to the fact that these people making the traffic stops are actually detaining a citizen and denying them liberty – that is false imprisonment – but I am sure the court will ignore that in the interest of justice to black and brown people. (Making the assumption that these people will be told to only stop white people and leave anyone of color alone). Very obviously city council has decided all of these things are legal, against California vehicle and Penal code statute.

    I sure hope it does not happen, but if I were a family member of one of these people making these stops, and my person got hurt or killed, I assure you I would sue the city of Berkeley for every penny in its coffers for putting my untrained and unarmed loved one in harm’s way.

  180. Shouldn’t this new “Motion” be on the ballot for the citizens to decide instead of the council being influenced by the few loud idiots on the council meeting call?

  181. The penal code categorizes traffic stops as falling under the government code definition of a stop, i.e. “any detention by a peace officer of a person, or any peace officer interaction with a person in which the peace officer conducts a search, including a consensual search, of the person’s body or property in the person’s possession or control” (GOV 12525.5).

    “Peace officer” is defined as “any sheriff, undersheriff, or deputy sheriff, employed in that capacity, of a county, any chief of police of a city or chief, director, or chief executive officer of a consolidated municipal public safety agency that performs police functions, any police officer, employed in that capacity and appointed by the chief of police or chief, director, or chief executive of a public safety agency, of a city, any chief of police, or police officer of a district[.]” (PC 830.1).

    The PC stipulates a handful of cases in which employees of other departments may perform limited law enforcement functions within the scope of their purview, such as correctional officers or CHP. It doesn’t contain a blanket provision by which a municipality (or, as was suggested, a county sheriff) can vest just anyone with such powers. I don’t see how a civilian agency like a BerkDOT could exercise the authority to make traffic stops unless Section 830 is amended to give it that authority. Nor do I see how BPD could, in turn, be stripped of this authority, given that the state grants police officers the power to make traffic stops anywhere in the state.

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&division=&title=3.&part=2.&chapter=4.5.&article=

    Emilie, if you’re reading this, perhaps you could ask the city attorney about the legal basis for implementing the council’s proposal. Some clarification would be helpful.

  182. It is important to remember that while Berkeley has a relatively high property crime rate, the proportion of violent crimes is relatively low. When we talk about “crime” it is important to distinguish between the types of crime, they effect us differently. Notably you skipped by the issue of how much this is all costing and how much policing actually addresses the problem.

  183. Increased parcel taxes no doubt. Homeowners always foot the bill for the council’s insane agenda.

  184. Democracy is a failure when it tramples on the rights and desires of a substantial minority.

  185. Yup. There is crime. There is violent crime. People get hurt. In the meantime police are stopping African Americans at seven times the rates of whites. That’s just the numbers. That isn’t going to bring crime down in your neighborhood. I’m not denying that there is crime, nor the suffering it creates. I’m just looking at how we’re reacting to it. And for the record I have lived near drug dealers and it totally sucks. I am also well aware of the mental health and homeless crisis we’re experiencing and have been directly affected by it. I get all that. I’m just looking for reasonable, smart answers and real change. Not more fear and the racism that it brings down.

  186. I have also been called a racist for suggesting more random traffic stings to enforce full stops at key intersections. Any suggestion of increasing traffic enforcement seems to be met with accusations of racism.

  187. Remember, there’s a lockdown, so schedules may have changed, even for people with jobs and kids at home.

  188. They could ask for ID or perform some kind of residency check but they won’t. The council doesn’t really care what the residents of Berkeley want.

  189. Yah. I figured you would cop out (forgive the pun). Whenever you are faced with a real rebuttal, you change the subject. I have no idea what you want or how you propose to get it other than “Cops, cops, cops” which you seem to think will eliminate all suffering. Don’t know what to say, but you be you….

  190. Many of those stops were in flatland hood, previously referred to as the gunbeat. Rigel is clueless.

  191. No, not since Kamlarz reduced staffing levels nearly every budget cycle. A proper needs assessment has been needed for years, not a community dialog about re-imaging public safety. In 2002 South Berkeley NCPC included such in our reforms list, some of the items the city did institute were the crime analyst position and a replacement RMS system.

  192. I am suggesting that they should be because the voices of residents and neighbors are the only ones that should matter.

    At least when the council is held in person people have to physically travel to the location it is being held in to make their comments. When it is held on Zoom literally anyone in the world can drop in and make comments.

  193. How did it end up like this? There are so many smart and talented people in Berkeley. Why can’t we get someone from the business community or the University to run for the position?

  194. A significant number of the people who spoke during the public comment period of the council meeting do not appear to be Berkeley residents since they mispronounced the names of council members and seemed to read off a prepared script.

  195. I don’t think most people are that interested in the % of violent crime compared with total crime. Most of us are interested in the amount of violent (and other) crime compared with the population. Berkeley ranks rather poorly by that measure. Our violent crime rate is definitely not “very low.” Our property crime rate is also high – about 52/1000 residents/per year. You also note that “white, affluent areas of Berkeley” have a “very, very low” crime rate. Is this implying that we shouldn’t worry because the crime is located in the non-white areas?

  196. I hear you and understand that the perception is an issue. However, I was responding to your inaccurate comment stating, “Cops are trained to dominate a situation by yelling, pulling a gun, forcing suspects to the ground, etc… They are not taught to deescalate the situation”. This comment is false. BPD actively implements deescalation tactics. If we want positive change to occur, which I’d assume you do, its required to acknowledge positive reform that’s taking place in this city instead of spreading false information about the department. That’s not helping anything. And, BPD does utilize the mobile crisis unit to support in these calls which is brilliant and has been so helpful for the city. I’m in support of this continuing and having more mental health professionals.

  197. Do you think the police department is currently “bloated” with too much staff?

  198. We don’t know at this point what they will do. That is why they are starting a process of defining it.

  199. What we don’t seem to get is that our electeds don’t care about the residents and taxpayers. Not one bit. All they care about is their PC, likely Marxist, knee-jerk agenda. Moreover, they don’t seem to care one whit that they are demoralizing the BPD, hardworking people who protect us. It’s disgusting how the BPD is being treated.

  200. Ya they’re taking the heat for all of the other police departments in the country that have been rioting. Kinda sad, really. As much as I support Defund as a movement it’s a shame that the BPD is getting lumped in with places that are really bad, like Oakland and LA.

  201. Ya the budget is so tight we have to defund the police. The question is how much can we get the council to agree to.

  202. In large part, the police in general lost what was left of public support across the country when the Movement for Black Lives started and the police started rioting in response. Despite their own fairly good track record, Berkeley PD is in jeopardy just as surely as the well behaved child of color who will nonetheless be stopped and frisked two dozen times before he turns 15.

  203. I recall at least some guns and probation violators getting picked up by BPD traffic stops and removing them from our community. – yay BPD! Don’t police go thru shifts being briefed on activity- good luck with that with myriad agencies. The bottom line is will it make us safer at a lower cost? Somehow I’m skeptical.

  204. Really–you think civilians should stop drunk or drugged drivers? Chase speeders? Apprehend stolen cars? Not know what weapons may be in the vehicle?

  205. This is the neighborhood that I live in, and this is what happened the other day. https://berkeleyside-newspack.newspackstaging.com/2020/06/24/police-investigate-gunfire-in-south-berkeley.
    Thank goodness that the bullet that hit the apartment building did not hit a person. In the 24 years that I have lived in this neighborhood, I have witnessed violence, illness, anti-social behavior, and sadness. Try living across the street from a meth dealer for a few years or down the block from neighbors who had a molotov cocktail thrown at their fence or have to run outside to help your female neighbor screaming for help, after having been brutally assaulted by another but temporary neighbor living in his RV outside your kitchen window. And that’s not all of it. But you know what, I have come to love my neighborhood, in all its complexity. I don’t love or accept those negative aspects, though, and I and many of my neighbors support a well-trained, humane police force, like the one that we have.

  206. Dude, they are creating a new dept, look at the hiring history of this bloated city government, this will definitely create new positions. Layoffs of sworn staff is an outstanding question.

  207. “I hate bureaucracy and I hate everything slow”. Yes, Bartlett made that quite clear after he tried to finagle his way out of that traffic stop. I’m sure he’s licking his lips at the thought of this new department of transportation. It will be much easier for him to speed though Berkeley back home to Richmond when he gets to create the new bureaucracy that will pull him over, definitely no conflict of interest there!

  208. When they fire our police chief? So far, Davila can’t even get a second for her motion, so it seems very obvious that the council won’t fire the police chief.

  209. Always remember when kids…if a kid steals a toy from another that other kid doesnt take toy back and smack other kid with going on vice verse for well tell an adult steps in lol that what i get when i think of this BS going on

  210. We have several comments saying the council is gutting the police department, and one comment saying they are adding more jobs to the city staff. Which is it, folks? Fewer people in public safety, or more?

    In fact, they are reorganizing the staff, moving some jobs from the Police Dept. to other departments dealing with traffic enforcement and mental health issues. The DOT would also get many jobs that are now in the Public Works Dept. No one knows at this point whether there would be more or fewer people doing the work that the Police Dept now does.

    I hope it will be more in total, with traffic enforcement replaced by lower paid workers (who don’t need to be paid as much because they are not risking their lives by dealing with violent criminals as part of their job).

    I also think that this reorganization is the only way of keeping enough police to control crime, given the current demands to defund the police. If we move some funding from police to new departments, the police could have more time to focus on violent and destructive crime.

  211. Agree, but this business about having fake cops conduct traffic stops won’t fix any problems that concern you, and may actually make them worse.

  212. Thank you. People behaving sensibly and in a caring manner toward each other works out best.

  213. I’m pretty sure that mental health professionals are not specifically trained for traffic enforcement.

  214. this is exactly what will happen here too.
    We already have a victim (Seth) and quite a few bad guys who shoot randomly within Berkeley. Those people need to go away for good.
    BPD we need you!!

    By reducing BPD we hurt the communities we need to protect. Low income, diverse communities are the ones which will suffer from reduced police. These guys that are take out by the cops are bad guys and need to go away!

  215. Exactly COB has created a huge situation for self as neighbors will complain about pollution( not for odor or smell but noise ground) using same model paul used for kcs( which also had permits and didnt operate 7a to 7p) and no the type of entity doesnt matter but i bet COB wont be harrassing and ordering cease and desist order for construction which in turn will give KCs a case for discrimination and harrassment. But also neighbors. Cant take away one groups of rights to provide for another. Especially when argument was used that people deserve quite safe living environment. They already broke rules in less than a week. Parking truck on sidewalk with no safety signage but also worker yelling and cursing past construction property lines. Again they dropped tree yesterday rather than slowly lowering it down shaking ground/complex bunch of neighbors went out to see what happened. Like they couldnt use rope to slowly put cut tree on ground lol im very curious of CoB or construction actually went into residents to make sure adhering to noise pollution standards? But also it seems they know as there are stipulations in plain of people complain lol

  216. All they accomplished was adding more jobs to a bloated city staff (including increasing the unfunded pension obligations) and more pork for their special interest “friends” demanding money last night.

    We pay high rate of property tax for incompetence.

  217. These delusional hysteric activists don’t give a damn about actual people. It is all pretend. Pretend revolutionaries looking for their life purpose.

  218. Don’t be alarmed: those aren’t gunshots you’re hearing. They’re the sound of champagne corks being popped in realtors’ offices throughout Contra Costa County.

  219. Very true and car searches for guns etc out of question. Your beating someone in no stops. The data shows in every other city traffic stops get guns and drugs off streets, find kidnapped kids and adults etc but COB doesnt want that WOW can city be investigated for endangering ALL residents. I fear for our residents.

  220. To my knowledge, they need to be deputized by the sheriff. It will be interesting to see if the Alameda County sheriff does that.

  221. “whilst thousands of great cattle… chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those [grasshoppers] who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field”.

    Burke

  222. When our city council fires our police chief, and guts our police department, we will have more crime, more people buying and carrying guns, and more shootings. Berkeley will become the wild west. I would rather maintain a trained, professional, and fully staffed police force than have more armed civilians.

  223. Albany? Ok, how about the Berkeley Hills? Let’s play “pick a place.” In terms of similarly sized SF Bay Area cities percent of violent crime (of all crimes) is Richmond 19%, Vallejo 17%, Antioch 15%, Daly City 14%, Concord 10%, Berkeley 10%. Major cities: Oakland 19%, San Jose 15%, San Francisco 11%. Of course remember that most violent crime is not perpetrated on affluent white people, so your mileage may vary. If we look at white, affluent areas of Berkeley the crime rate is very, very low. Lastly Berkeley spends an average of $111,183 per year per each violent crime. Currently Berkeley clears 27% of violent crimes committed. I wonder how much money you would like to spend? Also, be sure to send a link from the peer reviewed study that shows that amount spent on policing correlates to crime reduction….

    Crime Data from FBI: https://crime-data-explorer.fr.cloud.gov/explorer/agency/CA0010300/crime
    Police budget data collected from official published city budgets

  224. “whilst thousands of great cattle… chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those [grasshoppers] who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field”.

    Edmund Burke (reflections on the mob during the French Revolution)

  225. What I have trouble understanding is, how do they know the police stop people based on race? I’ve had people cut me off while driving, go through red lights, almost run me down as a pedestrian, and I couldn’t see if they were of any race or gender–they went by fast almost every time and/or had tinted windows rolled up, etc. Can anyone say the police see someone of a certain characteristic and follow them until they do something for which they can be stopped OR be stopped for no reason? I’ve never seen that, ever.

  226. Not me and others who don’t have the time to attend these “witch trials”. If anything I want to spend more on the police and less on the Homeless Hiltons.

  227. Meanwhile…
    In Wake Of Continued Gun Violence, Prominent Members Of Black Community Call On NYPD To Bring Back Anti-Crime Unit
    After another tragic weekend of gun violence, including the death of a 1-year-old, two members of the Black community called on the NYPD to bring back the recently disbanded Anti-Crime Unit to help get guns off the street.
    It was a dramatic moment — Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams holding up a pair of baby shoes Monday after a 1-year-old became the latest victim of gun violence, caught in the crossfire at a family barbecue just hours before.
    “Babies are not supposed to be wearing these in a coffin,” Adams said. Adams, a former cop, became the second member of the African-American community to call on the NYPD to stop the violence by re-instituting the Anti-Crime Unit — undercover cops whose job was to get guns off the street. The unit was disbanded during the anti-cop protest that shook the city.
    “I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate,” said Adams. “Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white you can do whatever you want.”
    Community activist Tony Herbert agrees.

  228. I was unclear why the mayor was using a private website for public business. Your comments help answer that question.

  229. “Also in line with the Davila item, the city will look at ways to reduce the police budget so more money can be spent on youth and restorative justice programs, housing and homeless services, and mental health services, among other community needs.”

    These are our top community needs? What are you people smoking?

  230. What law are you thinking of specifically? My reading of various state things is they delegate to cities (and counties, ports, irrigation districts, and all kinds of other entities) the ability to vest their police powers in whatever body they see fit.

  231. How funny, you expect elected officials to make sense. That was a good one, almost made me spew my drink.

  232. As an AA women myself i despise her. She hurts the AA community rather than being helpful. Also i will say this i am “african american” an amber color and to be actually specific i am african irish dutch and spanish. last time i checked most “blacks” were actually on the spectrum of brown….. So yes im “black” but literally no im not. Its so confusing. Can we all just be people. At this point id say davila seems racist towards anyone thats not “black” that shouldn’t be allowed

  233. I don’t believe ‘residency check’ requirements for public comment online or f2f are a thing. One need not be a resident to make public comment.

  234. No one lol. Might as well have street ambassadors as emts and firefighters too since berk is putting random people into positions

  235. This is not inconsistent with the second comment. Eg, it is possible to transfer traffic enforcement to a DOT and also to give the police resources they need to deal with serious crime.

    He obviously made the first comment before anyone thought about a BDOT.

  236. I really hope so she needs to go she is a disgrace to POC. If i were her id have a whole lot of shame.

  237. I was not watching last night’s council meeting until I got several messages from different sources asking me to participate in the meeting. I can’t stand listening to Jesse so online council meetings are tough for me. And, sure enough, our mediocre-verging-on-incompetent mayor was smarmy and repulsive as usual.

  238. You cant but even then if it ended within reasonable time city still cant make intelligent decisions

  239. Be careful what you wish for. I understand that Sophie Hahn would love to be mayor. Totally different from Jesse but maybe even worse.

  240. In the meantime, howsabout you spend your weekends helping to find a decent candidate for mayor. I haven’t been active in local politics for past year (due to illness) but when Jesse was getting ready to run for mayor, I was regularly interacting with many, even most, of the leading political activists (I feel uneasy naming some of them . . ), no one I knew, not a single political activist in this city, thought Jesse should become mayor. We tried, hard, to get a good candidate to run but they all said they could not afford to work for the part-time, kinda low-wage salary paid to mayor. The mayor salary is something like $55K — clerks working for CoB can make $95K a year. Even folks who actively campaigned for Jesse (at least he was better than his opponent, the awful Lauri Capitelli) had to hold their noses.

    Jesse has turned out to be even worse as mayor than people feared when he first started to run.

    As far as I am aware, no one capable is planning to run for mayor and citizen apathy might deliver Jesse another term. He’s too below-average to seek higher office. And he is too arrogant and power hungry to just step down.

    I dwell in hope, hope that someone great runs for mayor.

  241. Put signs at freeway off ramps: “The city of Berkeley uses robotic traffic enforcement that does not discriminate on the basis of any human trait except propensity to commit moving violations. Welcome!”

  242. The loudest, most violent activists do not speak for the rest of us. If they did they could use other methods.

  243. People with jobs and kids don’t stay up until 3am to watch a city council meeting and possibly get a comment in.

  244. Political grandstanding for the national and international stage by incompetent local politicians.

    Jesse appears to have deleted these previous public comments from his website:

    ¨ I support the Department’s ongoing efforts to increase recruitment and will provide whatever resources are necessary to increase our staffing to the authorized level of 181 officers (which was increased from 176 in the 2016 budget by 5 additional officers). ¨ -Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

    ¨There has been great progress made in the past year and I look forward to supporting the Department with whatever it needs to continue to create a safer community.¨ -Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

    These comments were previously posted here, but now they are gone:
    https://www.jessearreguin.com/public-safety
    It is politically convenient to be able to delete your own comments from the historical record that was on a privately owned website.

  245. I don’t understand how these proposals can be made—and passed—without regard for CA law. Unlike police officers, public works employees lack the legal authority to make vehicle stops. If the council wants to lobby the state to change the law, that’s its prerogative, but it can’t expect to put these reforms into practice in the meantime.

    Beyond that, I see no evidence for the mayor’s claim that the public has lost trust in BPD. These words on his website are no less true now than they were when he posted them:

    “Despite high profile cases, including among Bay Area agencies, the Berkeley Police Department has had a great track record over the years. It has some of the best-trained and most educated officers, and has avoided the type of scandals that plague many agencies. The Department has been a great partner with the city and has been instrumental in keeping crime rates low. In fact, crime is much lower today than it was just a decade ago.”

    We already have the kind of department that others can only aspire to be. We won’t fix what’s broken elsewhere by hobbling ourselves.

  246. Red light cameras detect if you crossed the electronic road barrier, with a certain minimum speed, while the light was red. It’s like stepping over the line when bowling. The light goes off and you get a mark. Doesn’t matter who was wearing the shoes, there’s a line and it got crossed, end of story.

  247. Arreguin is too quick to play off the latest national issue for public attention, but in doing so, he has ignored his own track record.

  248. We should be so lucky if that was the only thing standing in the way of the council making logical decisions…

  249. They deactivated the red light cameras in Berkeley and the reason they cited was because it disproportionately affected minorities. Now please someone explain how that makes sense. If you run a red light, you run a red light. We’re all equally required to follow the rules of the road

  250. The process benefits those with unlimited time constraints. We never know when an item will come up. So we have to listen in for hours until there’s a window to comment. Then we have to raise our hands and wait. An alternative is to submit written comments. But that doesn’t show up in the political theater.

  251. I didn’t listen to the whole meeting. But I noticed the same trend as recent meetings. On this very emotional topic a preponderance of public commenters began their statements with “I’d like to echo…” or “I’m very disappointed….” To my mind they were reading from a script. While I agree that it’s great that many people have the energy and dedication to attend these meetings, it is disrespectful to the process to eat up time with repetitive comments. One commenter could say, “I have 100 signatures on the following statement”. (and then produce the document). Public comment should be reserved for a wide range of new ideas. If you’re just parroting a script you aren’t adding to the discourse.

  252. “Put your fists up high and stand for Black Lives Matter.” says Davila. Hiding behind radical left wing rhetoric and demanding change without being aware of different views as well as not following protocol is a recipe for disaster. Many many many of us who support Chief Greenwood are troubled by the direction she and her coterie have taken but very hopeful that the omnibus motion voted in will provide the city and its diverse citizenry with an amicable outcome.

  253. The cops who serve you in this city are taught to do the exact opposite of what you’re saying. BPD has the largest focus, implementation, and training on deescalation in the country. In fact, police stations all over the country are now looking to Berkeley for guidance on this. Do your research.

  254. Optics and software looking at inanimate objects known as cars, stickers, license plates, and calculating the speed of movement through space. I’m pretty darn sure.

  255. So Russell, are you suggesting the “hard core capitalists,cop lovers,and neo-liberals” should get the courage to arm themselves and do the job of the abolished police force? Sounds like the vigilantes of the Wild West. Based on comments, it seems like some people are already arming themselves.

  256. Maybe that’s why they call themselves “woke” — because they are able to stay awake until 3 AM.

  257. The scariest part right now is, the two challenger candidates for mayor ARE SO MUCH WORSE than Jesse. We are facing the epitome of “the lesser evil” come November.

  258. I wonder how many people who spoke or wrote are actually from Berkeley, let alone District 2, the scene of recent multiple shootings and the murder of a UC student. I suppose there is no way to track that, is there?

  259. Let’s give police a good funding so they can develop and afford a better training and hire better staff.
    Also, if you ever had an encounter with BPD officer you know how polite and professional they are. Stop demonize the police.

  260. You state that “violent crime is very low compared to other similar communities in the Bay Area.” Let’s compare Berkeley with similar financially well-off communities in the Bay Area. Berkeley has 5.33 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. That’s more than twice the violent crime in Albany next door (2.06 / 1,000) or Alameda (2.57) or Piedmont (2.14) and 10 times the violent crime in Orinda (0.50). Data from Neighborhood Scout. Why should we accept this high level of crime? Let’s increase police funding and also give the police the tools they need to do their job.

    Of course, Oakland has a higher violent crime rate (12.99), but they’re sometimes rated as one of the 10 most violent cities in the US. Is that what we aspire to?

  261. Not a single other councilmember supported Davila’s push to fire Greenwood.

    She can get out lots of lunatic-fringe extremists to public comment, but she has little or no influence.

    Let’s hope she is defeated in November.

  262. 401 years of racism? Haven’t we had equal opportunity laws, affirmative action, special school programs etc. in recent years? If racism were still what it was 401 years ago, we wouldn’t have any non-whites on the City Council or in any job other than the most menial ones. A paybeck is a worthy goal? Do two wrongs make a right?

  263. Let me say this im not saying some police arent in wrong. Ive been pulled over by chp, bpd,opd no problems what so ever, im an AA women but also have PD family that always taught me to go above and beyond to respect cops cause guess what they can kill and make things really bad for you. Let me also add if ones job is made harder because of another’s actions would you get pissed? Ive been in wrong speeding and admitted to officer(white) i knew i was in hurry(didnt waste his time) he gave me ticket and i was on my way ( he even wrote wrong info on ticket not sure if he meant to which in end made ticket void) opd(another white officer) pulled me over one day when i was teen foe smoking in car(my wrong) he threw it out and let me on my way when really should of impounded car and tagged me with dui. Ive had a black BPD officer try to get me on his bike lol for jay walking while getting out for lunch at bhigh

  264. I’ve been shouted down as a racist online when I called for increased enforcement of missing plates and expired registrations. It seems some view this as racially biased. My own opinion is the real policy that directly harms disadvantaged classes of people is our terrible bus service, but many people seem to believe that enforcing the laws of the road is naturally regressive.

  265. “Since these means of enforcement are performed by machines, race is not a factor” I’m wouldn’t be too sure about that.

  266. Hey criminals welcome to berkeley police wont be doing traffic stops anymore feel free to do whatever thats what berk City sign should say so homeless and criminals have full protection from any laws it seems. But thank you city of berkeley foe making my apartment inhabitubal i cant even have phone convo in apartment due to constant noise that is well over db 35. Person on other end can barely heat me even when yell but they can clearly hear construction noise lol… Neigh ors have to close windows building was shaking yesterday. Got to love hearing construction workers yelling and cursing about some fences

  267. This is not an accurate representation on how the public comment went last night. It was very orderly and many passionate people waited very patiently to share specific stories, facts and figures.

  268. I was impressed by the number of people who were new to the political process who showed the dedication and time to participate in the political process. Last night I heard the argument from a few folks that those advocating for Item 18 didn’t represent the all the people, but if that’s the case, where’s the passion on the other side and why aren’t they showing up?

  269. I want to be hopeful, but I fear this is a perfect storm. An armed citizenry. A traumatized nation. A battered BPD. And a budget crisis.

  270. There is wide support for police reform in Berkeley as there is across the country. Last night (and into the early morning) that support was on display from both the citizens who stayed up until the wee hours while the council deliberated on the issues. Hopefully this morning’s vote will be the beginning of a robust process of realignment and reconciliation. In a political process generally no one gets everything they want. Let’s come together and make this as much of a win-win anTod to show what a smart, visionary, inclusive and comprehensive police reform package looks like.

    – Councilperson Davila – Thank you for pushing forward your 50% re-prioritization of the police budget to meet the underlying human needs which the police are now inappropriately called upon to respond to. Fortunately we live in a city where violent crime is very low compared to other similar communities in the Bay Area. Your continued leadership and recognition that our assumptions about policing, crime and social welfare are incorrect and need to be re-balanced. Your leadership will push Berkeley into the future.

    – Councilperson Harrison – While you took flack last night please be assured that those of us who have been active in this issue know the good, hard and important work you have been doing to attempt to get real police reforms passed in the city. Thank you for your willingness to dig into the details, work the process and still represent the values that make Berkeley a special place.

    – Councilperson Bartlett – Many of us are excited and hopeful about the leadership you’ve shown in standing up to those who feel the status quo is adequate and fair. We support you as you continue to push for real change in the city and look forward to your leadership going forward.

    – Councilperson Robinson – Thank you for putting forward your strong proposal to turn traffic enforcement over to a civilian agency. This will go a long way towards realigning spending on public safety as well as regaining the trust of the people of color who have suffered a long, long history of systemic racism that pervades traffic and law enforcement in Berkeley.

    – Councilperson Wengraf – Thank you for putting forward your proposal for a community process co-sponsored by Councilperson Davila. When we see that such usually divergent voices can come together it gives us hope for the future.

    – Mayor Arreguin and Vice-Mayor Hahn – We support you in your leadership to prioritize these issues within the council and the city and in creating a structure for real change. We look forward to working with you as you continue to push forward specific progressive solutions on an expedited schedule. Now is the time to act and we appreciate your sensitivity around these issues.

    – To the other members of the city council – we look forward to your hard work and leadership on these issues in the future.

    – To our police force – This is a time of change. Please connect with the values that brought you to community service and work with us to create a safer, more just Berkeley for everyone. Please know that we value you as individuals and honor the choices and sacrifices you make, we look forward to your continued leadership as we chart a new path forward for the community.

  271. anything that delays first defunding the police leading to abolition of the police is merely delaying the inevitable.trusting berkeley’s carpetbagging(ironic is it not)city manager is a shame as she lacks the integrity to make sound decisions.cheryl davila has the most integrity of any council member and ought to be listened to.

  272. There are inexpensive tools to completely remove the influence of race from being a factor in traffic stops.

    These things would be:
    * Red light cameras
    * License plate readers to check for stolen cars, expired registration, cars used in crimes in other cities, etc.
    * Speeding cameras

    Since these means of enforcement are performed by machines, race is not a factor. But, eliminating race as a factor in traffic stops may not be the goal of this effort. The real goal may be to allow certain groups to get away with more violations and to avoid being called to account for their actions. As payback for 401 years of racism, this may be a worthy goal. But just state it up front, OK? “We want to reduce the number of citations going to people of color”.

  273. In her incompetent attempt to censure the police chief, Davila again demonstrates her spite toward competent government. She doesn’t understand the rules for doing her job, but merely engages in political theater to try to shame the police chief. He truthfully answered a question (what will police use if they have nothing except guns) and then he immediately apologized. Davila does not want justice, but instead impunity for criminals.

  274. Good points. Can you be more specific about the large swathe, etc? I wasn’t able to watch.

  275. “I hate bureaucracy and I hate everything slow“ – Bartlett

    Of course he does. He also hates, and has an inability to follow, basic traffic laws. This change will allow him to run all the red lights he pleases and then politically bully his way out of the ticket. He should recuse himself.

  276. People don’t stay up until 3am to mindlessly parrot a script they read on social media. Give your fellow community members some credit: just because your views are different doesn’t mean your views represent the majority.

  277. What can regular Berkeley residents do to get someone who isn’t a jack*** to run for Mayor? How can we find a regular person who just wants to improve the quality of life for residents and is more interested in focusing on the basics of fixing the roads, parks and schools than in political grandstanding?

    I’m sick and tired of being governed by people who follow the whims of the mob and ignore the basics of good governance and running a city well. If we can find a decent alternate candidate to run against Jesse Arreguin I’ll spend my weekends canvassing for them, talking to my neighbors, getting the word out on social media.

  278. Without residency check requirements for comment at the online Berkeley City Council meetings we are opening ourselves up to being put at the whims of activists from around the country. These are not our friends and neighbors, they are activists who are organizing using tools like Discord and Reddit.

  279. Thanks for staying up until 3am to report the story. Who’s woke now? I’m not surprised that the mayor has proposed (and council approved) yet another visioning session. His modus operandi is to either 1) declare a crisis or 2) promote long range visioning. I’m thankful they didn’t do anything too rash as a reaction to events outside of Berkeley.
    But if I were reporting the story, I’d have learned where dozens of people who couldn’t pronounce “Davilla” got the word to repeat the same comments. This has happened at the past several meetings. I don’t think we heard from a wide swath of Berkeley voices.

  280. Defund our council. Vote no confidence in Davila. Recall the Mayor.

    Maybe Chief Greenwood should take over considering he’s heading the only city department that’s actually producing results: de-escalation, community policing, etc.

    Leave it to the mob in this town to take out all that’s wrong with policing in this country on their own PD, which happens to be one of the best in the entire USA. Complete and utter idiocy.