Constituent policy

Brentwood set to adopt military equipment use policy

On Tuesday, Brentwood City Council will discuss the introduction and waive the first reading of an ordinance adopting a policy for the use of military equipment pursuant to Assembly Bill 481.

The move comes after Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 481 into law last fall. The bill requires a reporting and authorization process for the purchase and use of certain law enforcement tools. AB 481 requires each specified California law enforcement agency (LEA) to obtain approval from the applicable governing body through the adoption of a “Military Equipment” Use Policy (the Policy) by ordinance (the Order), before the LEA funded, acquired, or used tools identified as “military equipment.”

According to the staff report:

Items considered “military equipment” by AB 481 are used as a component of overall best practices for LEAs nationwide. These tools have been field tested and are being used by LEAs to improve citizen safety and officer safety. The loss of these items would jeopardize the well-being of our citizens and our peace officers within the Brentwood Police Service.

The term “military equipment”, as used in AB 481, does not necessarily indicate equipment that the military used or provided to the LEA. Per AB 481, items considered “military equipment” include, but are not limited to, unmanned aerial or ground vehicles, armored vehicles, command and control vehicles, pepper balls less less lethal shotguns, less lethal 40mm projectile launchers, long range acoustic devices and flashbangs.

The Brentwood Police Department is committed to using the latest tools and equipment to protect the citizens of Brentwood. Many items deemed “Military Equipment” by AB 481 are used by the Brentwood Police Department and LEAs across the country to specifically reduce risk to members of our community. These items allow peace officers to safely resolve volatile situations that might otherwise rise to the level of an encounter with lethal force. The items discussed in this report and the accompanying 708 Military Equipment Use Policy also provide Brentwood Police Department peace officers with essential tools to facilitate compliance with its strict use of military equipment policy. strength.

Other items considered “military equipment” via AB 481 include basic equipment such as rifles. These rifles allow law enforcement officers to deal with deadly threats from greater range and with greater accuracy.

Brentwood Police Department Policy 708, “Funding, Acquisition, and Use of Military Equipment,” adheres to this new California law with respect to military equipment approval, acquisition, and reporting requirements. . In addition, Assembly Bill 481 requires the City to:

  • Post the draft military equipment use policy on the police department’s website 30 days before a public hearing to approve the policy. The Ministry’s draft policy was published on March 25, 2022, 31 days before this public hearing
  • Publish an annual report to include each type of military equipment approved by the city council.
  • Hold at least one well-publicized and well-located community engagement meeting within 30 days of the submission and release of the annual military equipment report
  • To request the city council to annually review the Military Equipment Use Ordinance and determine whether or not to maintain the Military Equipment Use Policy, or disapprove the renewal of a type of military equipment, or to change the policy for the use of military equipment if the city council determines that the military equipment does not meet certification standards.

By passing the Ordinance, to which the Military Equipment Policy is an attachment, the City Council
is required by AB 481 to make the following findings, each of which according to Commerce
can be done:

  • The military equipment identified in the policy is necessary because there is no reasonable alternative that can achieve the same objective of officer and civilian safety

The equipment identified in Policy 708 is necessary for the Brentwood Police Department because there are no other reasonable tools law enforcement can use to achieve the same goal of officer and security safety. civilians. Although the Department does not use all of the military equipment identified in Policy 708, the tools it uses are essential to the police work that keeps Brentwood safe and have no practical substitute.

  • The proposed policy will protect the welfare, safety, civil rights and civil liberties of the public.

The policy, attached as Exhibit A to the order and identified as Brentwood Police Department Policy 708, will protect the welfare, safety, civil rights and civil liberties by creating guidelines and standards of use known and adopted by the public, which will be reviewed annually.

  • If you purchase the equipment identified in the policy, the equipment is reasonably cost effective compared to available alternatives that can achieve the same objective of officer and civilian safety

The Department does not purchase any additional equipment identified in the policy.

  • Prior use of military equipment was in accordance with the military equipment policy in effect at the time, or if prior uses were not in accordance with the accompanying military equipment policy, corrective action was taken. taken to remedy non-compliant uses and ensure future compliance.

The city had no prior military equipment policy; this finding therefore does not apply.

After hearing public comments, if City Council votes to forego the first reading and introduce the ordinance by title only, then, as is City Council’s practice, the second reading would be placed on the approval schedule. of the next regular meeting of the municipal council.

New acquisition

In addition to seeking permission to use pre-existing equipment, the Brentwood Police Department also wishes to notify City Council and the public that it will be acquiring, funding and operating new equipment. In this regard, the Department plans to procure new replacement Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) rifles in fiscal year 2022/2023.

The police department plans to purchase the LMT MARS-LA 5.56mm automatic rifle. The LMT MARS-LA Automatic Rifle features a semi-automatic piston rifle system, rail mounted MLOK upper receiver, ambidextrous charging handle, SA piston bolt carrier group and a 14.5 inch chrome barrel.

These rifles are standard duty weapons for our SWAT officers and are therefore exempt from this military equipment use policy pursuant to government code § 7070(c)(10). Their acquisition has been included in this rating report out of prudence and for the sake of transparency.

The General Fund operating budget for FY 2021/22 includes funding for the use of pre-existing equipment. The draft General Fund operating budget 2022/23 – 2023/24 will include amounts for the acquisition of new equipment, as indicated in the staff report. The draft General Fund Operating Budget 2022/23 – 2023/24 will be presented to City Council for consideration and guidance at the Operating Budget Workshop on May 10, 2022.

Note – last week the City of Pittsburg approved its Military Use Policy

City council meeting
tuesday 26 april
7:00 p.m.
Full agenda: Click here