City Council votes to appoint Andrew Greenwood as BPD chief

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Berkeley City Council appointed Berkeley Police Department acting Chief Andrew Greenwood to the position of permanent chief of police at Tuesday’s meeting.

Eight of the nine council members voted “yes” on the resolution at Tuesday’s meeting, approving Greenwood’s appointment to the position. Councilmember Cheryl Davila abstained from the vote. Greenwood’s new position will be effective as of April 9.

“I am very honored to support your appointment,” Mayor Jesse Arreguín said to Greenwood at the meeting.

After former chief Michael Meehan resigned suddenly last fall amid criticism from his staff, City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley appointed Greenwood as acting chief. Greenwood has been a member of the department for nearly 31 years and has worked in multiple areas, including the Special Enforcement Unit’s Special Investigations Bureau, the Communications Center and the Operations Division.

Many city officials have referenced Greenwood’s lifelong residency in Berkeley as a strength, citing his ability to better understand the community. Councilmember Kriss Worthington said at the meeting he believed Greenwood will listen to the community’s concerns and “take all of us seriously.”

“I believe that Chief Greenwood honors the values of the Berkeley community from his heart,” Williams-Ridley said at the meeting. “Without a doubt, I’m bringing you, I believe, the best there is for the city of Berkeley.”

During the meeting, Greenwood addressed some of the challenges the department often faces and emphasized his desire to address them during his tenure. He explained that the reporting of use of force “needs adjustment” and acknowledged the community’s concerns regarding racial profiling.

Greenwood also discussed his efforts to make BPD more open to the public, including his plans to hold a series of “community forums.” Under his leadership so far, BPD has created a Twitter account to share pertinent information to the Berkeley community.

“One of the most satisfying parts of my work has been engaging with the community,” Greenwood said. “It’s important for us to have honest conversations with our community about what we do and why.”

BPD released a Nixle alert about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday announcing Greenwood’s appointment. According to the alert, a swearing-in ceremony for Greenwood will take place April 20, the details of which are forthcoming.

“I’m fully committed to the proposition that our department’s actions must inspire and enhance trust,” Greenwood said at the meeting. “As chief, I think I bring a uniquely local perspective.”

Contact Chantelle Lee and Shayann Hendricks at [email protected].