Sacramento PD seeks community feedback on military equipment use policy

The Sacramento Police Department is seeking community feedback on a draft policy that establishes guidelines for the acquisition, funding, reporting and use of military equipment.

The policy is required by California State Assembly Bill No. 481.

“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,” said Sac PD Sgt. Zach Eaton. “Creating the public feedback option is a new opportunity to provide the community with the ability to participate in this process.”

AB481 requires the department to list model numbers, acquisition costs, on-going maintenance costs and costs to replace equipment.

Examples of military-grade equipment include various unmanned aerial vehicles, pepper balls, less lethal shotguns (“bean bag shotguns”), flashbangs, MICC (Mobile Incident Command Center) and CNT (Crisis Negotiations Team) van.

Sacramento Police Department uses these items for de-escalation and reducing the likelihood of officer involved shootings, citizen injuries and officer injuries, officials said.

“This type of equipment can allow officers to stop armed individuals and suspects posing a danger and serious threat to the public and officers without having to resort to use of a firearm,” Eaton said. “It also can increase the chances for a safer resolution of volatile events.”

The draft military equipment use policy is expected to go to City Council for approval in June.

The Police Department will go to City Council annually to report out on what has been used each year and what they are purchasing to replace old or damaged equipment.

The community feedback form closes on May 20.