Kings County has taken its first steps toward complying with new state law that requires jurisdictions to develop a military equipment use policy.

Although a resolution forming such a policy is yet to come, the Kings County Board of Supervisors received a report on military equipment currently in use by the Kings County Sheriff’s Office during a study session. tuesday.

A formal policy will come back to council at a later date for adoption.

The California Legislature approved Assembly Bill 481 last September, which requires law enforcement agencies to receive approval from their governing bodies for the use of their military equipment, as well than for all future acquisitions.

Last week, Stockton City Council took the first steps for a Central Valley town by approving such a policy.

As noted in AB 481, items considered by lawmakers to be military-style include armored or armed vehicles, large caliber firearms, explosive projectile launchers, explosive breaching tools, and flashbang grenades, among others. .

In his presentation to council, Kings County Sheriff David Robinson noted that the county was already aware of the military equipment being used due to requests for budget approval to purchase such items.

The Kings County Sheriff’s Office currently has drones, robots, armored vehicles – including a Lenco BearCat – Mobile Incident Command Vehicle, 40mm and 37mm launchers and shells, launch for less lethal shotguns, flashbangs, chemical agents and smoke and explosive burst tools.

“We used to try not to publicize all this stuff because we didn’t want to share this information with the people we’re trying to use it against,” Robinson said. “However, the law removed that option, so now we’ll just announce whatever we have and do our best with the new requirements.”

He added that the legislator’s definition of military equipment was “really expanded” in AB 481.

While the board must approve a policy to comply with state law, supervisors weren’t happy to have their hands tied.

“It’s just sickening,” supervisor Craig Pedersen said. “Here we are. Here we go again. People are breaking into stores all over this state, and what are we going to do? We’re going to further degrade the public safety response. It’s just sickening.

Supervisor Doug Verboon agreed with Pederson, calling it “shameful to our public safety.”

“Anyone who follows the rules has their rights taken away because they follow the rules,” Verboon said. “I just think it’s a load of bullshit.”


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