Berkeley Police Chief to Retire in Summer

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 17, 2009 - 04:51:00 PM

Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz announced Tuesday morning that Berkeley Police Department Chief Douglas Hambleton will retire from his position this summer. 

Hambleton, who was appointed chief of police in March 2005, has worked in the city for over three decades, starting out in 1975 as a trainee. 

He was hired as a patrol officer in 1976, according to a statement sent out by the city manager’s office, and has taken on different roles within the police department since then, including the Hostage Negotiations Team and the Budget Unit. 

“I regret to announce that Police Chief Douglas Hambleton will be retiring from the City of Berkeley this summer,” Kamlarz said in a message to city staff Tuesday morning. “For the last 33 years, he has been a great asset to the community, his department, and the city organization as a whole. We will miss him. The chief has been at the city as long as I have, and it’s been a pleasure to work with him.” 

Hambleton, who has a bachelor’s degree in social welfare and a master’s degree in management, also served as assistant to the city manager for a year. 

“Chief Hambleton’s depth of experience and his long commitment to our community has been invaluable over the years,” Kamlarz said. “We thank him for all he’s done for the residents of Berkeley, and we look forward to a healthy community process as part of the selection of the future leadership of the department.” 

Kamlarz said in the statement that the city was determined to find a good replacement for Hambleton. 

“The position of chief of police is extremely important, and we will be working hard to make the next selection of chief, hopefully by mid-summer,” he said. “Similar to the search that was conducted when Chief Hambleton was hired, the community, the Police Review Commission and the affected unions will be involved in the selection process. I believe that this process served us well and am confident that another community-based process will help us find a good fit to lead the department in the coming years.”