Assembly Bill 481 Military Equipment Funding, Acquisition, and Use Policy

On September 30, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 481 to address the funding, acquisition and use of military equipment.

AB 481 Definition of Military Equipment

The Assembly Bill has designated certain types of law enforcement equipment as “military equipment.” The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office has equipment that meets the criteria, including:

  • Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)
  • Commercial Armored Vehicle (BearCat)
  • Military Armored MRAP
  • Mobile Command Vehicle
  • Rifles identified as assault weapons under Penal Code 30510 & 30515
  • Kinetic Energy Weapons and Munitions
  • Tear Gas Launchers and Munitions
  • Noise Flash Diversionary Devices
  • Ballistic Body Armor and Helmets

Read the full text of AB 481 including the complete list of items described as “military equipment”.

Requirements of AB 481

AB 481 requires each law enforcement agency’s governing body to adopt a written military use policy by ordinance in a public forum by April 30, 2022, in order to continue the use of this previously acquired equipment effective May 1, 2022. To help guide this process, see the following required materials:

  • Establish a concern or complaint process. Email us directly at [email protected]
  • Prepare an Annual Report to include the use of military equipment, any complaints received, any internal audits or other information about violations of Tehama County Sheriff’s Office Lexipol Policy, 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.

Public Input Regarding AB 481

The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office is holding a public meeting and seeking public input regarding the development of a Tehama County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit by acquisition of surplus military aircraft.

A public meeting is scheduled for July 13th, 2023 at 2 PM, at the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue building located at 2010 Park Avenue in Red Bluff.

Topics to be covered:

  • Use of aircraft primarily for search and rescue (local and regional) operations, crime scene photographs, rapid response and SWAT operations, patrol support and extreme rural patrol
  • Funding sources such as available grants and military surplus program (10-33 program, LEMA fund)
  • Policy and procedure
  • Availability of local pilots
  • And more

Public input is welcome at the meeting or can be directed to Lt. Houghtby at [email protected].

AB 481

Law enforcement and state agencies: military equipment: funding, acquisition, and use.

Lexipol Policy 709

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the approval, acquisition, and reporting requirements of military equipment.

LESO Declaration

On May 25, 2022, Presidential Executive Order (EO) 14074 “Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety” was signed.

LESO Addendum

This Addendum amends the existing State Plan of Operation between the State and Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) and is herein referred to as the SPO Addendum.

AB 481 Equipment

In considering the proposed Military Equipment Use Policy, the governing body must place the proposed policy as an agenda item for an open session of a regular meeting.