Berkeley Police Chief Defends Hunt for Son's iPhone

ABC News
Berkeley Police Chief Defends Hunt for Son's iPhone
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Berkeley Police Chief Defends Hunt for Son's iPhone (ABC News)

(Image credit: Doug Oakley/AP Photo)

A California police chief under fire for using 10 investigators to search for his son's missing iPhone  defended his actions, saying it was "worth it."

When Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan's son said his iPhone was stolen from his locker at Berkeley High School in January, Meehan ordered his detectives to track it down. The phone was equipped with Find My iPhone tracking software.

Ten officers, including three detectives and one sergeant on overtime, tracked the phone's signal to an Oakland neighborhood, where they went door-t0-door looking for the phone, according to ABC News' San Francisco affiliate KGO-TV.

The phone was not found and taxpayers were charged for two hours of overtime for each of the investigators on overtime, according to KGO-TV.

Meehan did not respond to a request for comment from ABCNews.com today, but spoke to the Oakland Tribune to defend his actions.

"I think it was worth it," he told the paper.

He responded indirectly when asked if he believed his job could be in jeopardy, saying, "That's a great question for the city manager."

Meehan told the paper that the response to the missing iPhone was based on the resources available at that time and that in two other cases of stolen iPhones, 11 officers responded.

"[The Berkeley Police Department] has long recommended that community members use tracking software on their devices or load such software in order to support an investigation and the possible recovery of stolen property," Sgt. Mary Kusmis said in a statement.

"I don't understand why it has been cast this way. The facts are very straightforward," Meehan said. "It's the chief's son, so it's different."

Earlier this year, Meehan was in hot water for sending an officer to a reporter's house at 1 a.m. in March to ask for a changes to a story, according to KGO-TV. The investigation into that incident is ongoing.

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