For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Ed Galvin, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-5752

Criminal Investigation Sought by Police Chief

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, January 18, 2006) - On January 6, Berkeley Police Chief Doug Hambleton ordered an internal review of the Berkeley Police Department’s (BPD) drug evidence. This order was issued to ensure that drug evidence was being handled and processed according to established policy.  During the review, procedural irregularities were discovered in the handling of some of the drug evidence.  

After consulting with Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff, Chief Hambleton ordered a criminal investigation into this matter to determine if any improper or illegal conduct may have occurred.  In order to insure a thorough, objective and unbiased investigation, the District Attorney’s Office will participate in the criminal investigation. Members of the BPD have been instructed to cooperate fully with the District Attorney’s Office. The BPD Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate administrative investigation to determine if any departmental policies or procedures were violated.

Due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing criminal investigation and the confidentiality requirements of administrative personnel matters, the department is not able to release any specific details or respond to requests for more information at this time.  Please be assured that Chief Hambleton and all the members of the BPD take this matter very seriously.