Berkeley Police Re-Organizes For Greater Effectiveness

The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) has implemented a number of significant changes to the organization. The plan has been many months in the making. The overall purpose of these changes is to improve communication and information sharing across functions and to coordinate and align resources where they can most effectively reduce crime and victimization, enhance crime prevention efforts, and respond to community concerns.

With this reorganization each of the major divisions of the Department is under new leadership.

Organizational Changes Include: Creation of a new Professional Standards Division under Captain Cynthia Harris, consolidation of several Units in Investigations under Captain Dennis Ahearn, consolidation of two previous divisions into one Support Services Division under Director Lynne Ohlson and establishment of Operational Area Commands in Patrol under recently promoted Captain Erik Upson elevating the position of the Public Information Officer.

The newly created Professional Standards Division, which includes Personnel and Training, brings BPD in line with national standards and best practices. The focus of this Division is to streamline procedures and improve systems and processes to make BPD more efficient, effective and accountable.
Homicide and Robbery formerly separate, now work together in a joint Crimes against Persons Unit. Additionally, Crime Analysis has been expanded. We are working to better utilize data and information when making both tactical and strategic decisions. A small percentage of people commit a large percentage of crimes and this enhancement will allow us to more carefully focus our limited resources on the most significant times, places, and people. Having timely information and thorough analysis is one of the most effective ways this can be accomplished.

Patrol Lieutenants now each command a different geographic area of the city and will serve as Area Commanders. Each of the Area Commanders is working directly with his/her respective Area Coordinator. This shift will allow for better coordination and information sharing among operational units, provides Area Coordinators access to more resources, and ensures community concerns are addressed at a higher, more coordinated, level.


New BPD Organizational Chart