Assembly Bill 481

On September 30, 2021, Governor Newsom signed a series of eight (8) policing reform legislation aimed at increasing transparency of peace officer misconduct records and creating a system to decertify peace officers for serious misconduct, improving policing responsibility and accountability guidelines, raising eligibility standards, banning harmful restraint techniques, and creating a public forum for the funding, acquisition and use of military equipment.

AB 481 was authored by Assembly member David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to address the funding, acquisition and use of military equipment

AB 481 Definition of Military Equipment

The Assembly Bill has designated the following categories of items as military equipment. The West Valley Mission Community College Police Department has equipment that meets the criteria for 2 of the 15 categories (categories 1 & 9). The WVMCCDPD is currently seeking to obtain equipment that meets the criteria for category 14. The equipment categories are as follows.

  1. Unmanned, remotely piloted, powered aerial or ground vehicles 

  2. Mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles or armored personnel carriers

  3. High mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV), two-and-one-half-ton trucks, five-ton trucks, or wheeled vehicles that have a breaching or entry apparatus attached 

  4. Tracked armored vehicles that provide ballistic protection to their occupants 

  5. Command and control vehicles that are either built or modified to facilitate the operational control and direction of public safety units

  6. Weaponized aircraft, vessels, or vehicles of any kind

  7. Battering rams, slugs, and breaching apparatuses that are explosive in nature

  8. Firearms and ammunition of .50 caliber or greater, excluding standard-issue shotguns and standard-issue shotgun ammunition 

  9. Specialized firearms and ammunition of less than .50 caliber, including firearms and accessories identified as assault weapons in Penal Code § 30510 and Penal Code §30515, with the exception of standard-issue handguns

  10. Any firearm or firearm accessory that is designed to launch explosive projectiles 

  11. Noise-flash diversionary devices and explosive breaching tools

  12. Munitions containing tear gas or OC, excluding standard, service-issued handheld pepper spray

  13. TASER® Shockwave, microwave weapons, water cannons, and long-range acoustic devices

  14. Kinetic energy weapons and munitions 

  15. Any other equipment as determined by a governing body or a state agency to require additional oversight 

 Full Text of AB481

Requirements of AB 481

AB 481 requires each law enforcement agency seeking to continue the use of previously acquired military equipment shall commence a governing body approval process no later than May 1, 2022. To help guide this process, WVMCCPD has crafted a summary of AB 481 for our community, as well as the following required materials:

  • WVMCCDPD's Lexipol Policy 709​   
  • The AB 481 defined list of military equipment currently in WVMPD’s possession is included in the draft policy. Each item's purpose, authorized use, expected lifespan and fiscal impact is also listed.  Defi​​ned list of military equipment currently sought and in WVMCCDPD’s possession.​                                                                   
  • Establish a concern or complaint process.  WVMCCDPD has a means for the public to submit commendations, questions and complaints. Additional information on contacting WVMCCDPD.

  • Prepare an Annual Report to include the use of military equipment, any complaints received, any internal audits or other information about violations of WVMCCDPD Lexipol Policy 709, the cost of such use and other similar information. This webpage will be utilized for distribution of any updates to the above materials as well as for the Annual Report. The first Annual Report will be distributed on or around May 31, 2023.

NOTE:  WVMCCDPD has not obtained, nor does it utilize, any equipment procured from the United States Department of Defense through the Law Enforcement Support Program (also known as the 1028 or 1033 program).

 Public Input Regarding AB 481

As required for transparency, WVMCCDPD has uploaded multiple written documents on this website to meet the requirements of AB 481. 

In addition, WVMCCDPD facilitated two focus group meetings and two meaningful public forums to gather input on AB 481.  The following are the dates when these occurred. 

1 - Legislative Oversight and Policy Oversight Committee on May 11, 2022 

2 - Police Chief's Advisory Committee meeting on May 19, 2022.

3 - Virtual Community Meeting on June 1, 2022 which included the following proposed agenda:

  • Purpose of the new legislation
  • Definition of military equipment
  • WVMPD's military equipment inventory
  • WVMPD's proposed equipment funding, acquisition and use policy
  • Pending annual report requirement
  • Community engagement and public access to materials

Feedback from each of the above meetings was incorporated into a report to the District Board of Trustees. This item was considered by the District Board of Trustees at the June 21, 2022 meeting. The District Board of Trustees approved RESOLUTION No. 2206211.  For more information on compliance with AB 481: