On September 30, 2021, Governor Newsom signed a series of eight (8) policing reform legislation aimed at increasing transparency of peace officer misconduct records and creating a system to decertify peace officers for serious misconduct, improving policing responsibility and accountability guidelines, raising eligibility standards, banning harmful restraint techniques, and creating a public forum for the funding, acquisition and use of military equipment.
AB 481 was authored by Assembly member David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to address the funding, acquisition and use of military equipment
AB 481 Definition of Military Equipment
The Assembly Bill has designated the following categories of items as military equipment. The West Valley Mission Community College Police Department has equipment that meets the criteria for 2 of the 15 categories (categories 1 & 9). The WVMCCDPD is currently seeking to obtain equipment that meets the criteria for category 14. The equipment categories are as follows.
- Unmanned, remotely piloted, powered aerial or ground vehicles
- Mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles or armored personnel carriers
- High mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV), 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
- 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 and ammunition of .50 caliber or greater, excluding standard-issue shotguns and 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
- Any firearm or firearm accessory that is designed to launch explosive projectiles
- Noise-flash diversionary devices and explosive breaching tools
- Munitions containing tear gas or OC, excluding standard, service-issued handheld pepper spray
- TASER® Shockwave, microwave weapons, water cannons, and long-range acoustic devices
- Kinetic energy weapons and munitions
- Any other equipment as determined by a governing body or a state agency to require additional oversight
Full Text of AB481.
Requirements of AB 481
AB 481 requires each law enforcement agency seeking to continue the use of previously acquired military equipment shall commence a governing body approval process no later than May 1, 2022. To help guide this process, WVMCCPD has crafted a summary of AB 481 for our community, as well as the following required materials:
NOTE: WVMCCDPD has not obtained, nor does it utilize, any equipment procured from the United States Department of Defense through the Law Enforcement Support Program (also known as the 1028 or 1033 program).