Police Teams Begin Telegraph Patrols

Chief: 'We heard community concerns about ongoing problems.'

They'll stroll, they'll walk, and, it is hoped, they will deter crime: Today, the Berkeley Police Department and the UC Berkeley Police began a joint patrol on Telegraph Avenue.

“We have heard community concerns about ongoing problems," said BPD Chief Michael Meehan in a statement. "These teams are intended to help address those concerns.”

The two-man teams will marshal the Telegraph business district, People's Park, and the surrounding areas, on foot and on bikes. They'll work six days a week -- primarily in the afternoons and evenings -- with some flexibility to respond to unanticipated circumstances.

"As a merchant, I'm glad," said Tom Chandler, manager for Rasputin Records. "It's all good."

University police chief Mitchell Celaya III said the project will engender a closer partnership between the two law enforcement departments and between the police the community.

If it was once the colorful center of Berkeley life, Telegraph has fallen victim to blight, crime and homelessness.

Over the past year, students, residents, merchants, and elected officials have mulled how to restore security to the area without sacrificing its legendary eclectic spirit.

The student-led Telegraph Liveability Coalition crafted a 21-point action plan to clean up the iconic stretch and increase safety.

Last week, Berkeley Design Advocates hosted a brainstorming session to produce ideas for curbing crime and revitalizing the area.


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