FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Seven months have passed since the bill AB-481 was signed, but officials are now speaking out about it.
April 30 is the deadline for all law enforcement agencies to cooperate with the bill.
It means agencies must publicly state their military-like inventory and all their purchases.
For some agencies, however, It feels like they’re handing criminals their playbooks.
Military-like equipment used to combat situations, now online for everyone to see the hardware that every agency has and how it’s used.
“That part is a little bit frustrating. They are not relying on the experts in law enforcement, you’re literally relying on your government body to dictate whether or not you have an armored vehicle,” said Kings County Sheriff David Robinson.
Robinson shared his frustration on Tuesday in front of the Kings County Board of Supervisors.
He feels assembly bill 481 compromises strategies and could put his deputies at risk.
“We see it. We saw what happened in New York this week, you see it where suspects are armoring themselves, they’re taking body armor, and it’s pretty frustrating that now we have to advertise to them, the type of chemical agents that we use, the type of ammunitions that we use,” he said.
Every law enforcement office in the state also to disclose all purchases of military-style equipment.
On the Clovis Police Department website, there is a link to their policies, but also their entire military-style inventory.
Governor Newsom signed the bill surrounded by families of police victims back in September.
Community activist Sandra Celedon shared this statement with yourcentralvalley.com saying,
“We know that police officers who use military equipment are more likely to engage in violent behavior and more likely to kill people innocent community members they interact with. Militarization of local police departments makes the public less safe and less free. AB-481 will finally bring much-needed transparency and accountability.”
We did reach out to Assemblymember David Chiu, he authored this bill and pushed for its signing. We did not hear back.