Police Review Director Attard Bolts For San Jose By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday December 03, 2004

Longtime Berkeley Police Review Commission Director Barbara Attard announced her resignation this week to become San Jose’s police auditor. 

Having led the PRC for seven years, Attard, 43, said the PRC could benefit from a change in leadership. 

“It might be time for some new ideas,” said Attard, who will remain at her post through the end of the year. Attard’s new job will pay her $140,000, about a 50 percent raise, she said. 

PRC Investigator Dan Silva is expected to apply for the director’s job. 

Jim Chanin, an attorney and former PRC commissioner, said Attard “did a great job under difficult circumstances.” 

She remained fair-minded and even tempered in an era when, he said, the city manager and city attorney tended to back the police department over the PRC. 

The PRC, which reviews citizen complaints of police misconduct, has seen its staff cut over the past decade from six employees to four, and is slated to lose one of its two administrative positions to budget cuts next year. The planned staff reduction comes as the PRC faces an increased work load due to a new administrative procedure that allows police officers to appeal the commission’s ruling. 

PRC Commissioner David Ritchie praised Attard’s work and called on city officials to give the commission a voice in selecting her successor. 

Copwatch Director Andrea Pritchett, a frequent critic of Attard’s stewardship of the PRC, also wanted input on the new hire. She said that by encouraging citizen participation in the search for Attard’s replacement, the PRC would garner more community support and thus have a stronger political hand in fighting budget cuts. 

City Manager Phil Kamlarz was unavailable for comment on the search for Attard’s successor. 

Before coming to Berkeley in 1997, Attard worked for 14 years in San Francisco’s Office of Citizen Complaints.  

In San Jose, Attard will head a six-person staff that audits investigations of the San Jose Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit.