Military Equipment Policy

What is the Military Equipment Funding, Acquisition and Use Policy?

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, California state law under Assembly Bill 481 requires law enforcement agencies, including the Anaheim Police Department, to obtain approval from the Anaheim City Council, by adoption of a military equipment use policy, prior to taking certain actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment. 

You can read more about California Assembly Bill 481 here.

As you read through this page, you’ll see the law's definition of military equipment is broad and includes common police equipment not sourced from the military.  

Definition of Military Equipment

California state law designates items in the following categories as military equipment:

  • Unmanned, remotely piloted, powered aerial or ground vehicles
  • Mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, such as armored cars
  • High mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, commonly referred to as Humvees, two and one-half-ton trucks, five-ton trucks, or wheeled vehicles that have a breaching or entry apparatus attached Excluded from this group:  unarmored all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorized dirt bikes. 
  • Tracked armored vehicles that provide ballistic protection to occupants 
  • Command and control vehicles that are either built or modified to facilitate the operational control and direction of public safety units
  • Weaponized aircraft, vessels, or vehicles of any kind
  • Battering rams, slugs, and breaching apparatuses that are explosive in nature; this excludes a handheld, one-person ram
  • Firearms and ammunition of .50 caliber or greater; excluding standard issue shotguns and related ammunition
  • Specialized firearms and ammunition of less than .50 caliber, including assault weapons as defined in Sections 30510 and 30515 of the Penal Code, with the exception of standard issue service weapons and ammunition
  • Any firearm or firearm accessory that is designed to launch explosive projectiles
  • Noise-flash diversionary devices and explosive breaching tools
  • Munitions containing tear gas or OC; excluding standard, service-issued handheld pepper spray
  • TASER Shockwave, microwave weapons, water cannons, and the Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs)
  • Kinetic energy weapons and munitions, including specialty impact munition (SIM) weapons 
  • Any other equipment as determined by a governing body or a state agency to require additional oversight

Requirements

State law requires each law enforcement agency's governing body to adopt a written military use policy by ordinance in addition to other requirements by the bill. The following are required:

  • Publish the draft military equipment use policy to the police department’s website 30 days before a public hearing to approve the policy
  • Obtain approval by the city council, by adoption of a military equipment use policy, prior to taking certain actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment, as defined above
  • Publish an annual report to include each type of military equipment approved by the city council
  • Annual review of the military equipment use ordinance by the city council, with the option to either disapprove the renewal of a type of military equipment or amend the military equipment use policy if it determines that the military equipment does not comply with standards for approval
  • Hold at least one well publicized and conveniently located community engagement meeting within 30 days of submitting and publicly releasing the annual military equipment report

Annual Report

Following approval of a military equipment use policy, the police department is required to submit to the city council an annual military equipment report for each type of approved military equipment within one year of approval, and annually thereafter for as long as the military equipment is available for use. 

The annual report is also required to be made publicly available on the department's website.

Additional Requirements for the Report

The annual military equipment report shall at a minimum, include the following information for the immediately preceding calendar year for each type of military equipment:

  • A summary of how the military equipment was used and the purpose of its use
  • A summary of any complaints or concerns received concerning the military equipment
  • The results of any internal audits, any information about violations of the military equipment use policy, and any actions taken in response
  • The total annual cost for each type of military equipment, including acquisition, personnel, training, transportation, maintenance, storage, upgrade, and other ongoing costs; and from what source funds will be provided for the military equipment in the calendar year following submission of the annual military equipment report
  • The quantity possessed for each type of military equipment
  • If the law enforcement agency intends to acquire additional military equipment in the next year, the quantity sought for each type of military equipment
  • Hold at least one well publicized and conveniently located community engagement meeting within 30 days of submitting and publicly releasing the annual military equipment report

Policy, presentations

Public Meetings

Upcoming

  • May 24, 2022: the Anaheim Police Department’s military equipment use policy, and its related ordinance, will be discussed during a public hearing at the City Council meeting. You can find the agenda item here. You may also offer feedback during the council meeting in-person or via email, click here for details. 

Past

Questions, concerns or complaints 

The Anaheim Police Department is committed to providing professional, quality service to our community. Any member of the public can register a question, concern, or complaining regarding military equipment used by the Anaheim Police Department. 

If you would like to file a formal complaint, please use the personnel complaint form here (Spanish form here). Hard copies of the form are available at any Anaheim police station, the City Clerk's office, Anaheim Public Library branches or the Community Services office.

Questions or concerns can be submitted online through Anaheim Anytime via the MyAnaheim app or online here.