The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the approval, acquisition, and reporting requirements of military equipment (Government Code § 7070; Government Code § 7071; Government Code § 7072). This policy is provided to fulfill the obligations set forth in Assembly Bill No. 481 (2021). These obligations include but are not limited to seeking approval on specific items deemed to be military equipment and requirements related to compliance, annual reporting, cataloging, and complaints regarding these items.
It is the policy of the Department of Public Safety that there are legally enforceable safeguards, including transparency, oversight, and accountability measures in place to protect the public's welfare, safety, civil rights, and civil liberties before military equipment is funded, acquired, or used.
The acquisition of military equipment and its deployment in our communities may impact the public's safety and welfare. The public has a right to know about any funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment by local government officials, as well as a right to participate in any government agency's decision to fund, acquire, or use such equipment. Decisions regarding whether and how military equipment is funded, acquired, or used should give strong consideration to the public's welfare, safety, civil rights, and civil liberties, and should be based on meaningful public input.
On September 30, 2021, Governor Newsom signed seven major peace officer reform bills into law, including Assembly Bill 481. AB 481 was authored by Assemblymember David Chieu (D-San Francisco) to address the funding, acquisition, and use of items lawmakers deem to be considered “military equipment.”
Effective January 1, 2022, Assembly Bill (AB) 481 requires law enforcement agencies to obtain approval of the applicable governing body (Mayor and City Council), by adoption of a military equipment use policy prior to taking certain actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment, as defined below.
The full text of AB 481 is available here.
Definition of Military Equipment (Government Code 7070)
AB 481 designates the following 15 categories of items as military equipment:
- Unmanned, remotely piloted, powered aerial or ground vehicles.
- Mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAP) or armored personnel carriers.
- High mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV), commonly referred to as Humvees, two and one-half-ton trucks, five-ton trucks, or wheeled vehicles that have a breaching or entry apparatus attached.
- Tracked armored vehicles that provide ballistic protection to their occupants and utilize a tracked system instead of wheels for forward motion.
- Command and control vehicles that are either built or modified to facilitate the operational control and direction of public safety units.
- Weaponized aircraft, vessels, or vehicles of any kind.
- Battering rams, slugs, and breaching apparatuses that are explosive in nature.
- Firearms of .50 caliber or greater, excluding standard issue shotguns.
- Ammunition of .50 caliber or greater, excluding standard issue shotgun ammunition.
- Specialized firearms and ammunition of less than .50 caliber, including firearms and accessories identified as assault weapons in Penal Code § 30510 and Penal Code §30515, with the exception of standard-issue handguns/weapons and ammunition of less than .50 caliber that are issued to officers, agents, or employees of a law enforcement agency or a state agency.
- Any firearm or firearm accessory that is designed to launch explosive projectiles.
- “Flashbang” grenades and explosive breaching tools, “tear gas,” and “pepper balls,” excluding standard, service-issued handheld pepper spray
- Taser Shockwave, microwave weapons, water cannons, and the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD).
- Projectile launch platforms and their associated munitions including 40mm projectile launchers, “bean bag,” rubber bullet, and specialty impact munition (SIM) weapons.
- Any other equipment as determined by a governing body or a state agency to require additional oversight.
Upcoming Public Meetings
April 4, 2023 Board Meeting: REPORTS/DISCUSSION - Approval of the SUSD Department of Public Safety's 2022 Annual Military Equipment Use Report per Policy 709 Military Equipment.
The Agenda is available for public viewing in BoardDocs. For easy access, the Agenda can be found on the link below:
YouTube Channels for Live Streaming: