AB-481 Military Equipment

On September 30, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill No. 481 into law. This bill requires law enforcement agencies, “to obtain approval of the applicable governing body, by adoption of a military equipment use policy, as specified, by ordinance at a regular meeting held pursuant to specified open meeting laws, prior to taking certain actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment, as defined.”  The full text of AB 481 is available here.

Furthermore, AB 481 requires similar approval for the continued use of military equipment acquired prior to January 1, 2022, and allows the governing body to approve the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment within its jurisdiction only if it determines that the military equipment meets specified standards.

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 481, the Santa Monica Police Department adopted policy can be viewed here.  

Assembly Bill 481 requires the police department to report annually on the inventory, procurement, use and misuse of covered military equipment items. The annual report also includes a description of new military equipment the police department seeks City Council approval for acquisition and funding. Per AB 481, the annual report must include the following: 

  1.  A summary of how the military equipment was used and the purpose of its use. 
  2. A summary of any complaints or concerns received concerning the military equipment. 
  3.  The results of any internal audits, any information about violations of the military equipment use policy, and any actions taken in response. 
  4. 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. 
  5. The quantity possessed for each type of military equipment.
  6. If the police department intends to acquire additional military equipment in the next year, the quantity sought for each type of military equipment. 

SMPD's 2022 Annual AB 481 Report can be downloaded here

Members of the public may contact Sergeant Frank Marnell at frank.marnell@santamonica.gov or Sergeant Blake Cooper at blake.cooper@santamonica.gov with any questions or concerns. Also, visit the City of Santa Monica's Public Meeting Portal for information on all upcoming public meetings.