BERKELEY (CBS 5) – Berkeley’s police chief is the subject of criticism again following news that he ordered officers to work overtime in an effort to find his son’s cellphone.

In recent months, Michael Meehan has come under fire after he sent an officer to a newspaper reporter’s home in the middle of the night to demand changes to a story. The department has also been criticized for the response to a fatal beating of a Berkeley Hills resident in February.

Now, watchdog groups are criticizing Meehan for ordering four detectives to track down his son’s missing cellphone and work two hours of overtime at taxpayer expense. The phone was reportedly stolen from a locker at Berkeley High School.

“We had hoped that chief Meehan would be a more effective administrator because he came from outside Berkeley,” said Andrea Prichett of Berkeley’s Copwatch. “Sadly, what he seems to bring is the practice of privilege that he is chief and he is going to do it the way that he wants.”

According to the Berkeley Police Department, officers regularly search for missing electronics. These investigations can involve a supervisor and multiple officers, depending on the circumstances and location of the signal.

Officers also admit that they didn’t file a police report on the missing phone.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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