Annual report on police use of military equipment, inventory set for Elk Grove City Council approval

At their next meeting, the Elk Grove City Council will renew the Elk Grove Police Department's use of military equipment ordinance and ...

At their next meeting, the Elk Grove City Council will renew the Elk Grove Police Department's use of military equipment ordinance and receive a report on its current inventory. The report is required by Assembly Bill 481, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, requiring an annual review of the inventory and police department's policies.

According to the staff report prepared by Tamara Lopez, Management Analyst, "The Police Department has determined that the military equipment is necessary to fulfill the mission, vision, and values of the Department, with an emphasis on the public's welfare, safety, civil rights, and civil liberties, as well as officer safety."

The legislation also requires police departments to conduct annual community workshops allowing public feedback. The Elk Grove workshop has not been scheduled. 

Groups like Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union have widely criticized police department's use of military equipment against civilians. Peer-reviewed studies from the University of Michigan and Emory University have demonstrated that equipping police departments with surplus military equipment, everything from benign products like rain gear to armored vehicles, has had no positive effect on crime reduction.

Another study found that the use of surplus military equipment found "a positive and statistically significant relationship between 1033 transfers and fatalities from officer-involved shootings across all models."

Supports of the military transfers include groups like the Fraternal Order of Police. In a 2022 letter to Congressional leadership, the group urged the continuation of the 1033 transfers, calling them essential to "defend and protect officers and civilians from threats and to carry out law enforcement and public safety objectives like hostage situations, search and rescue missions, and disaster response."

Locally, the use of military equipment ensnared Sacramento City Councilmember Caity Maple, who promised during her 2022 campaign the further militarization of the Sacramento Police Department. However, Maple was criticized when she backtracked on that promise not long after taking office and supported purchasing a $440,000 so-called Rook device. 

The city council unanimously approved the ordinance in 2022 and will receive similar support from Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and her city council during the Wednesday, December 13 meeting. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Attachment 2 of the staff report lists the military equipment that was used in 2022 and planned purchases in 2023. Included in the planned 2023 purchases are three drones manufactured by DJI.
I hope the City got a good deal on those drones, because according to"National-security concerns about the use of these drones and the data they gather led the Defense Department in 2018 to forbid their use in the department and in 2022 to place the most prominent of the manufacturers—Shenzhen-based DJI—on a blacklist of companies believed to have ties to the Chinese military"...

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