Pittsburgh City Council Set to Discuss Adopting Military Equipment Use Policy

The Pittsburg City Council is set to introduce an ordinance for the use of military equipment for the Pittsburg Police Department in response to Assembly Bill 481.

Assembly Bill 481 was approved by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021, which adds sections 7070 to 7075 to the Government Code. Effective January 1, 2022, Assembly Bill (AB) 481 requires law enforcement agencies to obtain approval from the relevant governing body (City Council), by adopting a policy use of military equipment before continuing to use and taking certain financing actions. , the acquisition or use of military equipment, as defined.

According to the services report, there is no budgetary impact as the cost of the current equipment is currently funded and included in the budget for the financial year 2022/2023. No new equipment applicable to Assembly Bill 481 is scheduled for purchase during the stated time period.

AB 481 was written by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to address the funding, acquisition, and use of items lawmakers consider “military materiel.”

This bill requires law enforcement agencies, including the Pittsburg Police Department, to obtain the approval of the appropriate governing body, by adopting a policy for the use of military equipment, as specified, by order at a regular meeting held pursuant to specified open meeting laws, before taking certain actions relating to the financing, acquisition or use of military equipment, as defined.

Additionally, AB 481 requires similar approval for the continued use of “military equipment” acquired by the Pittsburg Police Department before January 1, 2022, and allows the governing body to approve funding, acquisition or use of military equipment within its jurisdiction only. if he determines that the military equipment meets the specified standards.

The term “military equipment”, as used in AB 481, does not necessarily indicate equipment used by the military. Items considered “military equipment” include, but are not limited to, unmanned aerial or ground vehicles, armored vehicles, command and control vehicles, less lethal 40mm kinetic energy launchers, chemical munitions and diversion devices.

The list of items considered “military equipment” by AB 481 is used by many law enforcement agencies across the country as best practices for improving citizen and officer safety. The Pittsburgh Police Department uses equipment that meets the definitions listed in AB 481 and such equipment is detailed in the Preliminary PPD Equipment List.

Draft list of military equipment:

  • 4 unmanned aerial vehicles (drones)
  • armored personnel carrier
  • Command and Control Vehicle (2007 Wells Cargo Model EW3225W Command Center Trailer)
  • Command and Control Vehicle (2015 Forrest River
  • Specialized firearms and ammunition (11 different firearms listed)
  • Diversion device “Flashbangs” (50)
  • Chemical agents “Tear gas”

According to the order:

WHEREAS, Assembly Bill 481 has been passed by the State Legislature and approved by the governor in 2021, adding sections 7070 through 7075 to the California Government Code requiring each local police department to obtain city council approval of a military equipment usage policy prior to seeking funds, acquiring, collaborating with others jurisdictions on the deployment of military equipment as defined, using equipment or the request for surplus military equipment from the United States Department of Defense; and

WHEREAS, Section 7071(a)(2) of the California Government Code requires a law the law enforcement agency must begin a city council approval process no later than May 1, 2022; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 7071(b) of the Government Code, the project the Military Equipment Use Policy has been made available to the Pittsburgh Police Department on March 17, 2022, i.e. at least 30 days before the April 18, 2022 meeting of the City Council.

NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Pittsburg ORDERS as follows:

    1. Military Equipment Defined in Pittsburg Police Department Policy 706 The “Policy for financing, acquisition and use of military equipment” is necessary because there is no reasonable alternative that can achieve the same goal of officer and civilian safety.
    1. The proposed military equipment use policy will protect the welfare of the public, security, civil rights and civil liberties.
    1. If you purchase the equipment identified in the policy, the equipment is reasonably cost effective compared to available alternatives that can achieve the same goal of the safety of officers and civilians.
    1. Past use of military equipment was in accordance with the Military Equipment Use Policy which was in effect at the time, or if prior uses did not conform to military requirements equipment use policy, corrective action has been taken to address non-compliant uses and ensure future compliance.

Section 2. Approval. City Council Approves Pittsburgh Police Department Policy 706 “Military Equipment Funding, Acquisition and Use Policy”, attached as Exhibit A to this Arrangement.

Article 3. Date of entry into force. This Order shall come into full force and effect thirty (30) days after its adoption.

Section 4. Severability. If any section, subdivision, sentence, clause, sentence or part of this order is for any reason declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction jurisdiction, that part shall be deemed to be a separate, separate and independent provision, and such detention shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions.

Article 5. Publication. The order is posted and published in accordance with California government code.

The foregoing ordinance was tabled at a regular meeting of the municipal council of the city of Pittsburg held on April 18, 2022 and was passed and ordained published in a municipal council meeting held on ______ 2022, by the following vote

City council documents:

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