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File #: 2022-1926   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 5/3/2022
Title: Recommendation to Accept Transmittal of the Police Department Military Equipment Use Policy. (Police 10031100)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Military Equipment Draft Policy, 2. Correspondence, 3. Presentation



Recommendation to Accept Transmittal of the Police Department Military Equipment Use Policy. (Police 10031100)




To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council




Assembly Bill 481 (AB 481) went into effect on January 1, 2022, and requires a law enforcement agency to obtain approval of its governing body to enact a military equipment use policy, by ordinance, before purchasing, using, raising funds for, or acquiring military equipment.  AB 481 requires the Policy be first submitted to the City Council and posted on the City of Alameda's (City) website 30 days before a public hearing where the Policy will be considered and adopted by ordinance. This Staff Report is the first step in commencing the approval process.  If Council determines that the attached policy is acceptable. Staff will bring this matter back for the introduction of an ordinance adopting a military equipment use policy, as required by state law.




The Alameda Police Department (APD) does not possess military surplus equipment.  However, by definition of AB 481, APD possesses and uses equipment categorized as military equipment.  Accordingly, APD seeks City Council review of the attached Military Equipment Use Policy (Exhibit 1) to allow APD to continue to use the vital equipment specified herein and allow neighboring police agencies to use military equipment in this jurisdiction when providing mutual-aid during exigent circumstances.


Items deemed to be "military equipment" by AB 481 are used as a component of overall best practices for law enforcement agencies throughout the country.  These tools have been tested in the field and are being used by law enforcement agencies to enhance residents' and officer safety.  None of the equipment in APD's inventory has been obtained from the military, nor is it solely designated for military use.  Loss of these items would compromise community safety and could reduce APD’s ability to provide service.  To that end, the items at issue in the accompanying Military Equipment Use Policy, also provide APD peace officers with vital tools that facilitate compliance with its stringent use of force policy.




AB 481 requires the governing body that oversees a law enforcement agency to approve an ordinance adopting a military equipment use policy at a regular meeting of the governing body held in accordance with the Brown Act.  Before the Council may adopt such an ordinance in a future meeting, State law requires APD to first submit a proposed military equipment use policy to the Council and make those documents available on the law enforcement agency’s internet website at least 30 days. This Staff Report fulfils this submittal requirement.  The term "military equipment," as used in AB 481, does not necessarily indicate the equipment has been used by the military.  However, AB 481 identifies specific equipment (listed) that APD currently has in its inventory.


The ordinance, to be considered in a future council meeting, must be adopted before the law enforcement agency may request, seek funds, acquire, collaborate to deploy, or solicit a proposal for any type of military equipment. APD. 


In order to ultimately approve the proposed military equipment use policy by ordinance in a future meeting, the Council is required to determine all of the following:


A.                     The military equipment is necessary because there is no reasonable alternative that can achieve the same objective of officer and public safety.

B.                     The proposed military equipment use policy will safeguard the public's welfare, safety, civil rights, and civil liberties.

C.                     If purchasing the equipment, the equipment is reasonably cost-effective compared to available alternatives that can achieve the same objective of officer and civilian safety.

D.                     Prior military equipment use complied with the military equipment use policy that was in effect at the time, or if prior uses did not comply with the accompanying military equipment use policy, corrective action has been taken to remedy nonconforming uses and ensure future compliance.


In addition to hosting the military equipment use policy on the law enforcement agency's

website, each agency must submit an annual military equipment report to the governing body detailing the equipment used in the preceding year.  This annual report must include a summary of how the equipment was used, a summary of complaints received, the result of any internal audit and actions taken in response, the total annual cost and the quantity possessed of each type of military equipment, and any additional equipment the agency intends to acquire in the next year.  Each year, the governing body must review the annual report and determine whether each type of military equipment identified in that report has complied with the standards for approval set forth above and vote on whether to renew it according to Government Code Section 7071(e)(2).


AB 481 requires that the military equipment use policy include the following information:


1.                     A description of each type of military equipment, the quantity sought, its capabilities, expected lifespan, and product descriptions from the manufacturer of the military equipment.

2.                     The purposes and authorized uses for which the law enforcement agency or the state agency proposes to use each type of military equipment.

3.                     The fiscal impact of each type of military equipment, including the costs of obtaining the equipment and estimated annual costs of maintaining the equipment.

4.                     The legal and procedural rules that govern each authorized use.

5.                     The training, including any course required by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, that must be completed before any officer, agent, or employee of the law enforcement agency or the state agency is allowed to use each type of military equipment to ensure the full protection of the public's welfare, safety, civil rights, and civil liberties and full adherence to the military equipment use policy.

6.                     The mechanisms to ensure compliance with the military equipment use policy include which independent persons or entities have oversight authority and, if applicable, what legally enforceable sanctions are put in place for violations of the Policy.

7.                     The procedures by which members of the public may register complaints or concerns or submit questions about the use of each specific type of military equipment and how the law enforcement agency will ensure that each complaint, concern, or question receives a response in a timely manner.




                     Consider and provide input on the proposed policy. Subsequently, staff will present the policy for Council’s consideration and with a recommendation to adopt the policy by ordinance.

                     Provide clarifying language to the policy.

                     Refer the policy to Police Department for further work.

                     Do not approve the draft policy.




There is no financial impact from establishing the proposed Military Equipment policy.




This action is consistent with the Alameda Municipal Code.




This action is not a project for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15061(b) (3) as there is no possibility that this action may have a significant effect on the environment. 




There are no identifiable climate impacts or climate action opportunities associated with the subject of this report. 




Consider and provide input on a proposed Military Equipment Use Policy


Respectfully submitted,

Nishant Joshi, Chief of Police



Joshua Crossley, Police Lieutenant


Financial Impact section reviewed,

Margaret L. O’Brien, Finance Director



1.                     Military Equipment Draft Policy


cc:                     Gerry Beaudin, Interim City Manager