Assembly Bill 481 (2022)
Effective January 1, 2022, California Assembly Bill 481 requires law enforcement agencies to obtain approval from the applicable governing body, by way of an ordinance adopting a military equipment use policy prior to a law enforcement agency taking actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of defined military equipment.
Murrieta Police Department Policy 709 addresses our response to AB 481.
Policy 709 - Military Equipment
709.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the approval, acquisition, and reporting requirements of military equipment (Government Code § 7070; Government Code § 7071; Government Code § 7072).
Definitions related to this policy include (Government Code § 7070):
Governing body – The elected or appointed body that oversees the Department.
Military equipment – Equipment that is "militaristic in nature" and identified in Government Code Section 7070 (c).
It is the policy of the Murrieta Police Department that members of this department comply with the provisions of Government Code § 7071 with respect to military equipment.
709.3 MILITARY EQUIPMENT COORDINATOR
The Operations Division Captain or their designee will act as the military equipment coordinator. The responsibilities of the military equipment coordinator include but are not limited to:
(a) Acting as liaison to the governing body for matters related to the requirements of this policy.
(b) Identifying department equipment that qualifies as military equipment in the current possession of the Department, or the equipment the Department intends to acquire that requires approval by the governing body.
(c) Conducting an inventory of all military equipment annually.
(d) Collaborating with any allied agency that may use military equipment within the jurisdiction of Murrieta Police Department (Government Code § 7071).
(e) Preparing for, scheduling, and coordinating the annual community engagement meeting to include:
1. Publicizing the details of the meeting.
2. Preparing for public questions regarding the department's funding, acquisition, and use of equipment.
(f) Preparing the annual military equipment report for submission to the Chief of Police and ensuring that the report is made available on the department website (Government Code § 7072).
(g) Establishing the procedure for a person to register a complaint or concern, or how that person may submit a question about the use of a type of military equipment, and how the Department will respond in a timely manner.
709.4 MILITARY EQUIPMENT INVENTORY
The following constitutes a list of qualifying equipment for the Department:
See attachment: Military Equipment List
The Chief of Police or the authorized designee shall obtain approval from the governing body by way of an ordinance adopting the military equipment policy. As part of the approval process, the Chief of Police or the authorized designee shall ensure the proposed military equipment policy is submitted to the governing body and is available on the department website at least 30 days prior to any public hearing concerning the military equipment at issue (Government Code § 7071). The military equipment policy must be approved by the governing body prior to engaging in any of the following (Government Code § 7071):
(a) Requesting military equipment made available pursuant to 10 USC § 2576a.
(b) Seeking funds for military equipment, including but not limited to applying for a grant, soliciting or accepting private, local, state, or federal funds, in-kind donations, or other donations or transfers.
(c) Acquiring military equipment either permanently or temporarily, including by borrowing or leasing.
(d) Collaborating with another law enforcement agency in the deployment or other use of military equipment within the jurisdiction of this department.
(e) Using any new or existing military equipment for a purpose, in a manner, or by a person not previously approved by the governing body.
(f) Soliciting or responding to a proposal for, or entering into an agreement with, any other person or entity to seek funds for, apply to receive, acquire, use, or collaborate in the use of military equipment.
(g) Acquiring military equipment through any means not provided above.
709.6 COORDINATION WITH OTHER JURISDICTIONS
The Murrieta Police Department provides law enforcement services to the City of Murrieta as well as providing mutual aid assistance countywide.
Through the Association of Riverside County Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs (ARCCOPS) mutual aid agreement, all cities within Riverside County have agreed to accept the use of each law enforcement agency's military equipment policy related to any enforcement action throughout Riverside County.
709.7 ANNUAL REPORT
Upon approval of a military equipment policy, the Chief of Police or the authorized designee should submit a military equipment report to the governing body for each type of military equipment approved within one year of approval, and annually thereafter for as long as the military equipment is available for use (Government Code § 7072).
The Chief of Police or the authorized designee should also make each annual military equipment report publicly available on the department website for as long as the military equipment is available for use. The report shall include all information required by Government Code § 7072 for the preceding calendar year for each type of military equipment in department inventory.
709.8 COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Within 30 days of submitting and publicly releasing the annual report, the Department shall hold at least one well-publicized and conveniently located community engagement meeting, at which the Department should discuss the report and respond to public questions regarding the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment.