City council member to hold public safety meeting in response to recent shootings

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In response to two shootings in a Berkeley neighborhood early this month, a city council member is holding a meeting to discuss public safety Monday evening.

The meeting will be held by Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore — who represents the West Berkeley area, where the two shooting incidents occurred — to discuss how the community can improve public safety measures and to update residents on the progress of the ongoing police investigations.

On March 2, shots were fired from a vehicle at a group of five standing in front of a Berkeley apartment building on the 2200 block of Bonar Street. Three of the men sustained gunshot wounds, none of which were life-threatening.

Just two days later, three men were injured on the 2100 block of 7th street from gunshot wounds. According to police, two suspects had approached a group of five people, and at least one allegedly fired at the group. None of the victims’ injuries were life-threatening.

Police said they could not say whether the shootings were related.

According to Moore, the police department will update the community about the ongoing investigation regarding the shootings followed by a question-and-answer session with the public at the meeting.

“One, it’s important for the neighborhoods to hear from the police department,” Moore said. “Two, it’s to convince neighbors to form neighborhood groups and work together and know them … and three, it’s to let them know that public safety is my number one priority in the district, and everyone will feel safe in their homes.”

Berkeley Police Department is also collaborating with residents in order to improve safety and communication in the neighborhood. Berkeley police Lt. Dave Frankel holds coffee meetings at different local coffee shops with residents of the community every other week, usually from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday afternoons.

“It’s an open forum to discuss anything the citizens want to talk about,” Frankel said. “From my point of view, (the meetings are) to learn what else we don’t already know that needs to be looked into. Communication and transparency are the main two things.”

Berkeley resident Graham Freeman, who lives on Allston Way, is also attempting to improve safety in the neighborhood. He created an online group discussion called “Neighborly” to benefit the community by being a welcoming, constructive forum to discuss the issues neighborhoods in Berkeley face, he said.

Councilmember Susan Wengraf held a similar community meeting with police last week to discuss the homicide of Peter Cukor.