Council narrowly approves military equipment funding for CCPD

At the City Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 22, funding was approved for CCPD equipment categorized as military, with a 3-2 vote. Mayor Daniel Lee and Councilmember Yasmine-Imani McMorrin were the two “nay” votes.

Chief Manuel Cid once again outlined the fact that the CCPD doesn’t “possess any equipment that has been designed solely for military use or has been received directly from the military.” 

Assembly Bill 481 went into law this January, and it requires the City Council to create a city ordinance, laying out how and when the military equipment should and can be employed.

“The Police Department’s Military Equipment Use Policy shall incorporate a complete inventory of existing military equipment, set policies for future acquisitions, establish a clear and timely way for citizens to lodge complaints, and report all uses through the publication of an annual Military Equipment Report.”

Equipment categorized as military that the CCPD currently has in its inventory includes drones, two armored vans, specialized rifles, flashbands, tear gas, and kinetic energy weapons (beanbags).

Chief Cid pointed out that only trained officers will use the equipment, as defined in AB 481. He said that this equipment actually allows the police department to keep the public and the officers safer by using non-lethal means of control.

After a long list of public speakers, split between in favor and not in favor, concerns were raised by both Lee and McMorrin, who felt that equipment such as tear gas and bean bags only escalate violence. Also, the term “non-lethal” shouldn’t be applied to beanbags because they have killed people.

Still, the majority decided that the CCPD should be granted funding for the equipment it deems necessary, under the strict rules laid out in AB 481.