Chief Michael Meehan (Ret.)

Mike Meehan recently retired from the Berkeley Police Department where he served as Chief of Police for just under seven years. Prior to joining the Berkeley Police Department, he worked for the Seattle Police Department where he served for over twenty years. His assignments included Homicide, Robbery, Gangs, CSI, Narcotics, Vice, Policy, Ethics, Media, Accreditation, Auto Theft, Field Training, Crime Analysis, and as a Precinct Commander.

During Meehan’s career, he developed one of the most comprehensive field training officer evaluation systems in the country. His work in community policing was cited by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was Incident Commander for the 2003 TOPOFF 2 full scale anti-terrorism exercise—the largest ever held in the United States up to that time—and was involved in a number of large-scale security events including the World Trade Organization, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and National Governors’ Association.

Under Meehan’s leadership, the Berkeley Police Department refocused its core mission on preventing crime, treating people with respect and restraint, and being accountable and transparent. He continued its progressive and forward-leaning traditions by creating a professional standards division, by becoming only the second agency in California to adopt Fair and Impartial Policing, being one of the first to implement Crisis Intervention training, being one of the first in the nation to develop and train in de-escalation and one of the first in the United States to implement sequential, double-blind lineup procedures to reduce the likelihood of false criminal identifications. Berkeley transparency efforts included posting online department policies, arrests, bookings, calls for service, pedestrian and traffic stops and 30 years of crime data. Berkeley incorporated the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing into the promotional process and worked with the local school district to develop a two-year Law and Social Justice class for 11th and 12th graders. Berkeley is one of the most representatively diverse police departments in the United States. Complaints were reduced by half and crime decreased to a fifty-year low.

Meehan has authored several articles and, in addition to his work with the Police Foundation, is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum, Fight Crime-Invest in Kids, American Society for Industrial Security, California Police Chiefs Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Washington and received his Master’s Degree in Security Studies from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, DEA Drug Commanders Academy, and the Senior Management Institute for Police.

He is married and has two sons.

He can be reached at

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