Arrest Yourself in Berkeley

by Steed Dropout
Oct. 16, 2013
Berkeley, Ca


Famous as a progressive police force, credited with first in women cops, bicycle cops, and fingerprinting, Berkeley Police (Dept.), has now taken progressivism to the outer limits.

Policing has become burdensome in Berkeley; “we foil them, frisk them, and jail them, but we can’t be everywhere at once,” said a BPD spokesman and — with budgetary concerns — the department has decided to make arrest participatory.

How do you arrest yourself in Berkeley?

Here’s what BPD offers. They will be installing “information-hubs” where you can report your own crime.

They have thoughtfully installed citation forms. You just pick your crime and take your time reading from a list of offenses, then filing a narrative account.

The public is invited to a quick-learn session entitled, “know the crime before you do the time.”

“This will help us enormously,” said a BPD spokesman.

“We just can’t issue as many citations as we would like, when we witness violations” said the spokesman.

“Not all the people who cite themselves will be arrested,” said the spokesman. “After-all, we’ll be using hearsay. A lot of people will want to be cited and to pose for a picture, in the case of felony and other notable charges.”

BPD Chief Michael K. Meehan offers to autograph serious charges and pose for a photo with suspects

The idea came from an incident recently in which a cop told a suspect to “go to city hall,” to see if he’d broken the law with his over-sized tent blocking the walk outside Cream, on Telegraph at Channing.

The suspect later requested to be cited for obstructing the walk. When a supervisor got word of this, he wondered aloud, “why can’t everyone cite themselves?”

This program puts Berkeley back at top of the heap of heat.

“I get a good feeling about this program,” said the chief. “Everyone wants to be a cop; now they have a chance to police themselves. We like to say, be gentle with yourself, so you don’t have to complain about abuse during self-arrest.”

The department is currently investigating whether to issue hand-cuffs to Berkeleyans, according to a department source who requested anonymity. “You would just cuff yourself and come on down (to the station).”

“The district attorney tells us, the court may reduce your charges when you bust yourself,” said a BPD source.

“Self-arrest shows great civic spirit,” said BPD. “We expect Santa Cruz and Santa Monica to follow our lead.

“It’s just great to be back on top as a leading department.”

Views herein do not reflect the views of those publications in which my work appears.

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