44.4 F
Citrus Heights
Saturday, March 25, 2023

Related stories

Citrus Heights police arrest Roseville man for child sexual assault

By Mike Hazlip— A Roseville man was arrested Wednesday on 12 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, according to a police news release published Thursday...

Homicide investigation underway on Sayonara Drive

By Mike Hazlip— A homicide investigation in Citrus Heights is underway on Sayonara Drive after a body was found inside a residence on the 7800 block of the street.

Citrus Heights police plan St. Patrick’s Day weekend DUI checkpoint

Sentinel staff report– Citrus Heights police will hold a DUI and drivers license checkpoint this weekend in an effort to curb drunk driving.

Officer narrowly dodges vehicle driven by fleeing suspect, police say

Residents reported a heavy police presence in the area of Birdcage Street on Saturday night, where a Citrus Heights police officer narrowly avoided being struck by a stolen vehicle fleeing the scene of a domestic violence call...

Citrus Heights police return to publishing daily logs

Sentinel staff report-- Residents looking for daily reports of police logs in Citrus Heights are now able to access them on the Police Department's website again.

Public hearing to be held on police military equipment policy for Citrus Heights


File photo. Officers with the Citrus Heights Police Department SWAT team conduct a raid of S&S Tire in 2015, with the assistance of an MRAP vehicle. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
Residents will have an opportunity during a public hearing this Thursday to provide input on a proposal that defines what kind of military equipment can be used and acquired by the Citrus Heights Police Department.

A staff report to the City Council from Police Lt. Jason Baldwin says the passage of Assembly Bill 481 prompted the proposal, due to the bill’s requirement for a military equipment use policy to be adopted prior to a law enforcement agency “funding, acquiring, or using military equipment.”

See full proposed policy: click here.

The report says AB 481 broadly defines military equipment in a way that “does not necessarily indicate equipment that has been used by the military,” noting that such items include drones, rifles, armored vehicles, pepper balls, and some less-lethal shotguns and projectile launchers. The legislation was intended to ensure residents have an opportunity to comment on and are aware of their Police Department’s purchase and use of military-style equipment.

In Citrus Heights, the Police Department’s most high-profile military vehicle is an MRAP, or Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle, which many departments received at little to no cost as part of a military surplus program. Such vehicles are specified in the proposed policy as being allowed to be used in Citrus Heights, along with “tracked armored vehicles” and “weaponized aircraft, vessels, or vehicles of any kind.”

Battering rams, drones, tasers, water cannons, pepper spray, firearms of .50-caliber or greater, and other items are also listed as military equipment to potentially be used.

The staff report says approval of the military equipment use policy is necessary for the department to continue to use “vital equipment” it has already been utilizing.

“These tools have been tested in the field, and are used by LEAs to enhance citizen safety, officer safety,” Baldwin said in his report. “Loss of these items would jeopardize the welfare of citizens and peace officers within the CHPD”

The report says officers “have faced gun fire from suspects for prolonged incidents which required the use of armored/ballistic vehicles to protect the officers and community,” noting the equipment “allows for more time and opportunity to attempt to deescalate situations and provide for safer tactics to resolve life-threatening events in the safest way possible.”

The proposed policy also includes specific guidelines describing the approved use of such equipment, along with the cost, replacement cost, and training required. The policy also requires a report to be submitted annually and posted on the Police Department’s website listing each type of military equipment in the department’s inventory.

A public hearing regarding the proposed policy will be held on April 28 at City Hall, with the meeting beginning at 7 p.m. Participation will also be allowed via Zoom. Those wishing to submit comments in advance can email comments up to 250 words to cityclerk@citrusheights.net, or email the entire City Council directly at citycouncil@citrusheights.net.

Want to share your thoughts on this topic? The Sentinel welcomes letter to the editors or opinion columns for publication. To submit one online, click here.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free Weekend Edition to get one email each Sunday with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)